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Portillo Malbec 2013

Malbec from Argentina
  • WE88
14% ABV
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  • WW89
  • WE88
  • W&S89
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep ruby red in color with an alluring bouquet reminiscent of plums and blackberries. On the palate, fresh flavors of redcurrant and black cherry supported by sweet, round tannins ending in a long finish with notes of cinnamon and cloves.

Enjoy with grilled steaks, roasts and pasta in richly-flavored sauces.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 88
Wine Enthusiast
Dark in color, this chunky, ripe Malbec opens with blackberry, earth and rubber aromas. That bold, full quality carries onto the palate, which is staunch and bullish, with pepper and berry flavors that finish dry, yet weighty and lush.
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Portillo

Portillo

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Portillo, South America
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Situated on a high plateau in the Uco Valley of Argentina’s Mendoza region, the El Portillo winery and vineyards are dedicated to making superb quality wines for everyday enjoyment. Harmony with nature is readily apparent in every aspect of this property, which is designed to deliver wines that capture and respect the pristine beauty of their birthplace.

The El Portillo winery (El 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.

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Argentina

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With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.

Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white.

The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originated 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.

SWS305772_2013 Item# 141715