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New Customers Save $30* with code OCTNEW30

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Portillo Malbec 2010

Malbec from Argentina
Ships Tue, Oct 24
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Winemaker Notes

Deep ruby red with shades of violet color. Rich with fruit, the nose is reminiscent of plums and blackberries. Tannins as soft as velvet set the stage for an enviably round finish.

Critical Acclaim

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Portillo

Portillo

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Portillo, , South America
Portillo
At Portillo, freshly harvested grapes are received at the first level of the facility. After selection, the fruit is transferred by gravity to the level below, where fermentation takes place. The resulting juice is then transferred, again by gravity, to a third level for aging. Framed by the snow-capped Andes, Portillo’s vineyards range in altitude from 3,445 to 5,577 feet. The benefits of this high location are many, including greater thermal fluctuations between day and night temperatures. This leads to longer hang-times for the grapes, resulting in a superior balance between sugars and acidity and thicker skins in the red varieties, which in turn yields greater intensity of color and aroma. This microclimate offers a supremely healthy environment in which to grow grapes.

The Spanish conquistadors, who introduced vines to Mendoza as far back as the 1500s, referred to the region as the "Tierra del sol y del buen vino," (land of sun and good wine). With its profound affinity with the land, Portillo and the wines it produces are an authentic expression of their origin and terroir.

The Portillo winery (Portillo means “portal” or “gateway”) is largely built of local materials, including stones quarried from a nearby valley. This enables the facility to blend in tastefully with the surrounding environment. Ancient masonry techniques practiced by the indigenous population in bygone times were revived for its construction in the late 1990s, providing new and welcome opportunities for skilled local craftsmen.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

NDF807001_2010 Item# 110011

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