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Vina Alicia Paso de Piedra Malbec 2009

Malbec from Argentina
    14.5% ABV
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    14.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Deep purple in color, with a spicy aroma, plum, raisins, and dark cherry-like flavors. Tannins are soft, velvety, and sweet. Very elegant, full-bodied, and a long finish which shows off its splendor and richness.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Vina Alicia

    Vina Alicia

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    Vina Alicia, Argentina
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    Alicia Arizu established Viña Alicia in 1996. With 25 years of research in both viticulture and wine making, she dedicated herself to creating Mendoza's most elegant wines from vineyards that have been in her family for three generations in Mendoza's Lujan de Cuyo. Viña Alicia has two vineyards: San Alberto and Viña Alicia in Lujan de Cuyo. The geographical location, the type of soil, and the regional climate place these vineyards among the most wanted lands of the world. The temperate, Mediterranean climate and scarce rainfalls (180 mm, annual average) add up to the ideal conditions for vine-growing. The soil origin is alluvial and has a loam-silty to sandy texture. Water for irrigation comes from the snow break in the high mountains of the Los Andes mountain range, through a unique irrigation system in the world. All these benefits plus water management according to the actual growing needs in terms of frequency and quantity make Lujan de Cuyo the first viticulture zone in Argentina.

    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.

    HOR79676_2009 Item# 115155