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Pago de Valdetruchas Los Cerezales 2008

Other Red Blends from Spain
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Los Cerezales' (trans. ‘The Cherries') is 100% Mencia from a single, 75 year-old vineyard planted at 750 meters above sea level (that's 2,460 feet for those keeping score at home). Grapes were hand-harvested and fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel tanks. After alcoholic fermentation, half of the wine underwent malo in tank while the other half underwent malo in new French oak. After malo, all of the wine was aged in French oak barrels for 11 months prior to bottling.

Critical Acclaim

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The 2008 Cerezales (the first release from this producer) is 100% Mencia sourced from a single 75-year-old vineyard and aged for 11 months in French oak. Purple-colored, it exhibits an alluring nose of cedar, tobacco, fresh herbs, mineral, violets, and black cherry. On the palate it is loaded with fruit and spice combined with excellent depth and length. It will evolve for 1-2 years but can be enjoyed now through 2018.

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Pago de Valdetruchas

Pago de Valdetruchas

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Pago de Valdetruchas, , Spain
Pago de Valdetruchas
Bierzo is one of the newest D.O.’s in Spain, having been recognized in 1988. It is located in the northwest of Spain. Pago de Valdetruchas is a joint project between Alejandro Luna and his uncle and cousin. The estate-owned vineyards are located in the town of Villafranca de Bierzo, about halfway between the cities of León and Santiago de Compostela. The vines grow on soils composed of calcareous clay, sand and slate, and are situated between 500 and 800 meters above sea level.

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 is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources 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 it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

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 but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

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.

SKRSPV001_2008 Item# 108972

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