Layer Cake Malbec 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Layer Cake works directly with the farmers that grow their grapes to exacting standards in some of the most diversely-layered vineyards around the world. They are handpicked, separated and fermented with care, then aged in French Oak. The character of each Layer Cake wine is influenced by the vineyard soil, which is layered like a cake…every layer tells a story.
It all started in South Australia, when they met a few growers, swapped stories over a few pints, then went to walk around some vineyards. The goal became to make great wine from these vineyards, and with diligence, sell the wines at a price that would over-deliver compared to the offerings on the retail shelves, so we were off to the races.
During a visit to Puglia to investigate the flavors behind Carole Meredith’s recent studies showing that Primitivo is indeed identical to Zinfandel, we discovered the largest cache of old-vine Zinfandel grapes in the world, which borthed the Layer Cake Primitivo. Argentina is now known as the best place on the planet to grow Malbec, hands down. Upon meeting numerous fantastic family growers to work with, the Layer Cake Malbec was born.
The newest stamp on the Layer Cake passport is the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Sourced from vineyards in one of the greatest regions of the world for growing Sauv Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, has soil that brings a beautiful flinty brightness to this complex wine.
Layer Cake came back to their homeland, Napa, next and decided it was time to seek out some special vineyards here as well. Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were naturals to make here, as we have many friends with excellent vineyards to nurture and turn into Layer Cake Wines.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
Celebrated for its bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec has enjoyed runaway success in Argentina since the late 20th century. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. A French agronomist, who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. Somm Secret—If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet with its combination of dense fruit and soft tannins.