Wapisa Malbec 2016
"Wapisa" is the indigenous Patagonian word for "whale." Not only do whales frequent the nearby coast of the winery's vineyards, but a local legend talks of a wapisa that actually lived on land. The wines, like the wapisa, are an expression not just of their soils but of the nearby ocean as well.
Located in San Javier, Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina, Wapisa is just 25 miles from the Atlantic ocean. Wapisa is the only winery that exists in this unique coastal terroir. The vineyard "Finca Los Acantilados" is an estate that stands out for its lime clay soils, good acidity and little organic matter. This is complemented by outstanding thermal amplitude as maritime breezes push in for the night, leading to balanced and fruity wines with a delicate varietal expression.
One of the most southerly regions on the globe for fine wine production, Patagonia has experienced extraordinary vineyard expansion since the early 2000s.
Patagonia vineyards occupy the lower foothills of the Andes at 1,000 to 1,600 feet. Here cold air drops at night from incredibly steep elevations—the Andes reach well over 15,000 feet in this zone—a phenomenon that produces drastic diurnal shifts. Cold nights contrasted with hot summer days produce grapes with striking color, full ripeness, great finesse and aromatic intensity.
Favored for its luxury brands, the Patagonia wine growing region of Argentina focuses on a diverse array of international varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillón and Viognier among the white grapes, and Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon for reds.
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.