Image Credit: Ian L

 

 

 

 

Malbec

The Grape

One of the six Bordeaux grapes, Malbec is a grape known for its deep color and robust tannin structure. Known for its popularity in France and Argentina, Malbec has developed a strong following in the America for its mysterious, intense fruity flavor.

Malbec produces a thin-skinned grape that requires sunlight and heat to mature, but also needs cool evenings to develop its acidity or else it may taste weak and watery. Malbec can be trellised or left to grow as a bush, and both are common depending on where it's produced. Due to its susceptibility to frost, mildew, and disease, Malbec has a relatively low yield that produces smaller berries that are complex and rich in flavor. 

The Wine

Malbec is dark and purple in color with a range in tannin structure from mild to medium depending on when the grapes were harvested. The wines have aromas of raisins, violets, garlic and the occasional hint of smoke. Malbec has a complex flavor of blackberry, black currant, leather and tobacco.

Perfect Pairings

Malbec features a flavor profile similar to that of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, but with much softer tannins. The softer tannins allow Malbec to pair with leaner meats such as chicken, lamb, and pork. The complex flavors of Malbec also pair well to the tangy, spicy flavor of barbecue sauce and the distinctive flavor of charcoal grilling. When pairing with cheese, look for an Iberico or Manchego as their flavors pair well with Malbec.

Shop Malbec Wines

2009 Humanitas 'Good Earth' Malbec Schlumberger Bench
Sold Out

There is a delightfully floral and chocolate truffle note in the nose – violets intertwined with a raspberry truffle. This translates beautifully into the flavor – chocolate and raspberry with a touch of all sorts of dark fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, and a few cherries thrown in for good measure. Wrap that all up in new car leather, a pinch of cocoa and pipe tobacco and you are golden. Spin some Argentine tango...

Winemaker’s Comments

Schlumberger Vineyards is located off the beaten track in the hillsides & benchlands high above Dry Creek Valley.  The ‘Schlumberger Bench’ is nestled in a natural amphitheatre situated in a small pocket canyon (Wine Creek Canyon) high up in the hills & planted mainly to Bordeaux varietals.  The grapes are influenced heavily by steep south-facing hillsides, wind from both the Russian River & the Pacific Ocean, superb exposure to the sun, and well-drained soils.   Low yielding Clone 9 fruit produces tiny little berries with intense flavors and well balanced structure.  There is a distinct flavor – a typicity to this ranch that is truly unique – and almost addictive.  If there were a comparison, it would be Right Bank Bordeaux – but with a little Sonoma juiciness thrown in for good measure.  Good mountain-grown Malbec is a rarity in California – this wine is simply stunning. 

Wine Description

There is a delightfully floral & chocolate truffle note in the nose – violets intertwined with a raspberry truffle.  That tasty nose translates beautifully into the flavor – chocolate & raspberry, with a touch of all sorts of dark fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, and a few cherries thrown in for good measure.  Wrap that all up in new car leather, a pinch of cocoa & pipe tobacco and you are golden!   

Alcohol: 14.4%
Bottling Date: November 1, 2011
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley – ‘Schlumberger Bench’ 
Blend: 100% Dry Creek Valley Malbec
Vintage Notes: Harvested October 1, 2009    
Wood: 24 months Oak – 2 new French Oak barrels; 2 mature French Oak barrels
Note: Grapes are from organically farmed vineyards in transition & fermented on resident (native) yeast.

Limited Production - 92 Cases

2013 Essere Franco Malbec
$ 95.00

Robert Parker - 91+ Points

“The stylish and impressive 2013 Malbec comes from the Las Cerezas Vineyard in Yountville. This wine will make people stand up and notice. Dense purple-colored, with loads of licorice, coffee bean, blueberry and blackberry fruit, medium to full body, good acidity and ripe tannin, it should age beautifully for 15 or more years.” 

The fruit for this delicious wine was sourced from the Las Cerezas Vineyard in the Yountville AVA of Napa Valley.  Aged 18 months in 80% new French Oak, this medium to full bodied wine has flavors of dark berry and chocolate, with a touch of black pepper. It carries a crisp acidity with ripe plum aromas on the nose. It pairs incredible with Italian foods, and has quickly become our favorite wine to make since we bottled our first stand alone Malbec in 2007.

Only 116 cases produced

Alc. 15.5%