Vina Cobos Felino Malbec 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The entry-level and highly available 2016 Felino Malbec mixes grapes from different zones of Mendoza—Valle de Uco, Luján de Cuyo and Maipú—but the percentage from Vale de Uco has been growing and is more than half the blend in 2016. It fermented in stainless steel vats with selected yeasts, and 10% of the volume matured in new American oak barrels, but they are slowly introducing maybe 1% French barriques. The idea is to show the fruit more and have the oak as a discrete touch only until bottling. It's floral and fresh, even with some blood orange citrus hints. The palate is gentle, with soft tannins and very good freshness, making it long and very tasty on the finish. 396,000 bottles produced.
The wines of Vina Cobos are the result of a shared dream inspired by the passion of three winemakers: Paul Hobbs and Argentine parters Andrea Marchiori and Luis Barraud. Their founding aspiration: to produce a Malbec of power and elegance unequalled anywhere in the world. Tee inaugural 1999 vintage of Cobos Malbec received the highest score upon release for any Argentine wine and continues to garner some of the highest praise for any Malbec in the world. Through the years, Vina Cobos has expanded their family of wines, which continue to receive even greater accolades. Cobos, Bramare and Felino offer three tiers of exceptional Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, sourced from the estate Marchiori Vineyard and other select properties within Mendoza.
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.
Celebrated for its bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec has enjoyed runaway success in Argentina since the late 20th century. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. A French agronomist, who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. Somm Secret—If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet with its combination of dense fruit and soft tannins.