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Payana Malbec 2011

Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
    13.9% ABV
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    13.9% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Payana Malbec is a deep ruby red color. On the nose there are hints of coffee, dried plums, and rum raisin. On the palate, earthier flavors like leather, tobacco and coffee emerge to balance the fruit. This wine has an elegant texture and smooth tannins.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Payana

    Payana

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    Payana, Mendoza, Argentina
    Payana is a popular children's game in Argentina, of native origins, played with five small stones. The player picks a stone up and tosses it up into the air, picks another stone up from the ground with the same hand, and then catches the first stone before it hits the ground.

    Payana wines are were developed Paolo Domeneghetti, Domaine Select Wine Estates Founder and CEO in collaboration with Andres Ridois, a longtime associate in the wine trade in Argentina. Together they select from parcels of old vines located in the steep stony slopes of the foothills of the Andes to develop each Payana wine. Here, watered by only fresh mountain streams, the vines ripen in the warm sunny days coupled with cool mountain nights to produce wines marked by power, elegance, and balance.

    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.

    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.

    DSED1286_11_010_2011 Item# 123165