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El Esteco Don David Malbec Reserve 2015

Malbec from Salta, Argentina
  • WW89
14% ABV
  • JS90
  • WS90
  • JS91
  • WE91
  • RP90
  • RP90
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Displaying expressive plum jam, raisin, and pipe tobacco aromas, with toasty vanilla notes, the wine has balanced, spicy dark fruits and cassis, almond, and nutty notes on the long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 89
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: Anytime one sees the words Argentina and Malbec on a bottle of wine, one should always be ready for a good experience. TASTING NOTES: The 2015 El Esteco Don David Malbec Reserve is rich, yet elegant. Showing aromas and flavors of red and black fruits and possessing a palate that is firm and bright makes this a beautiful choice with an oven-baked chicken. (Tasted: February 16, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
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El Esteco

El Esteco

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El Esteco, Salta, Argentina
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With over 1500 acres of vineyards standing at 5500-6600 feet above sea level, Michel Torino is the most important winery in the Cafayate Valley of Argentina. All of the Michel Torino wines are hand-harvested in the estate's own vineyards. Additionally, Andrés Höy, Torino's production manager, practices sustainable, environmentally- friendly farming by minimizing the use of fertilizers and chemicals in the vineyard. The unique Cafayete climate manifests itself in the elegant, focused profile of Michel Torino's wines. These are wines with an indelible sense of place, wines which complement food rather than overpower, wines which are true to their origin.

The Salta region in northern Argentina is home to world’s highest vineyards. Near the town of Payogasta, the Colomé Altura Máxima vineyard is planted at 10,206 feet in elevation.

Salta is part of the Calchaquí Valley, which benefits from more than 300 days of sun per year, subjecting its vines to considerable ultraviolet radiation. The valley experiences strong high altitude winds, even in the “lower” vineyards, which are planted at 5,413 feet. Because of these elevations and resulting extreme conditions, vines produce lower yields and thicker-skinned grapes, resulting in concentrated, aromatic and well-structured wines.

In a truly unique region, the highly aromatic variety, Torrontes, thrives; intense sun exposure allows full ripening, while cooling winds maintain the grapes’ acidity levels and phenolic balance.

Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Syrah, and, particularly, Tannat have the most potential among reds.

Upscale hotels, beautiful colonial architecture, a majestic Andean backdrop and impressive food and wine make the area attractive among tourists as well.

Salta is the fourth most important Argentine wine-producing region after Mendoza, San Juan, and La Rioja. Its oldest vineyards were planted in 1862.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it continued to flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. A French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. But it did not gain its current reputation as the country's national grape until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of blackberry, plum and licorice, appropriately backed by aromas of freshly turned earth and dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, Malbec will be intensely ripe, and full of fruit and spice. From its homeland in Cahors, its rusticity shines; dusty notes and a beguiling bouquet of violets balance rich, black fruit.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

SOU265766_2015 Item# 165254