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Ricardo Santos Malbec 2008

Malbec from Argentina
  • WE89
13.9% ABV
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  • JS90
  • 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, South America
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After years experimenting with Malbec, Ricardo convinced the United States importer that the future of the Argentine wine was in this variety, thus the Norton-Mendoza Malbec 1972 headed North. After selling the Norton Winery in 1989, he purchased a vineyard in Russell, Maipu, Mendoza to continue what he did all his life: producing wines of the highest quality, comparable with the best in the world. This new stage was from the beginning a family enterprise.
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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.

GVIG1RS8BMA_2008 Item# 103134