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Ricardo Santos Malbec 2008

Malbec from Argentina
  • WE89
13.9% ABV
  • JS90
  • WE90
  • JS90
  • WS88
  • WE91
  • WE89
  • WS87
  • RP90
  • WE90
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13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Malbec has a striking deep brilliant purple color. The nose is ripe and full, reminiscent of dark cherries, plums, and chocolate with undertones of loam and earth. In the mouth, the wine displays a profound core of ripe, blackberry jam fruit, lengthening into a sophisticated weighty finish coupled with an elegant silkiness. What makes this Malbec so intriguing are the soft, fine tannins on the finish that make it velvety and drinkable—even as a young wine.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 89
Wine Enthusiast
Scratchy raspberry aromas lend some harshness to the bouquet, but that’s replaced soon after by earthy berry fruit notes. The palate is plump and full, with chunky, thick flavors of black fruit that are nice but quiet. Fruity, jammy and easygoing throughout. Drink now into 2012.
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Ricardo Santos

Ricardo Santos

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Ricardo Santos, Argentina
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CUCHILLAS DE LUNLUNTA Sociedad Anónima is a family business owned by the Santos family, who have been related to wine making for more than forty years.

In 1995 they started producing wines exclusively with grapes from Las Madras, the winery located in the first region, in Russell, Maipú. Las Madras has an area of 12 hectares exclusively planted to Malbec, the only grape used to produce "El Malbec de Ricardo Santos."

Since making a high-quality, hand-crafted wine is a very complex and delicate task, Cuchillas de Lunlunta devotes all their efforts to the produc-tion of only one wine: "El Malbec de Ricardo Santos."

Argentina

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Stretching from the Andes to Patagonia, Argentina's unique terroir lends to high quality wines. Formerly associated with inexpensive bulk wine but dramatically shifting focus from quantity to quality, Argentina is the most important wine-producing country in South America. Certainly excellent values abound here still, but increases in vineyard investment, improved winery technology, and a commitment to innovation since the late 20th century have 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 can be used to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Mendoza, a large and famous region responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. 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.

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.

GVIG1RS8BMA_2008 Item# 103134