From the Cellar

The Great Malbec-Off (Argentina) - Old Malbec Tasting

07 May 2021

(November 8, 2020) ... A beautiful November day and my neighbour informs me he's trying to understand Malbec a little better - and so without further ado I ran down to the cellar and grabbed 3 bottles (we were joined by his Lab for the tasting) - and at the bottom of the post you will meet Sophie - but first time to taste some old Malbec:

Humberto CanaleHumberto Canale 2002 Malbec ... Here I'm looking at an almost 20-year-old bottle of Malbec from Argentina. Lots of smoky-coffee bean, licorice and forest floor with even some burnt wood notes. I am picking up a little hint of coffee as well ... But almost immediately after opening (say 10-15 minutes) it goes very lean and thin almost watery to the point of being unappealing. From a great start it diminishes, into a woodsy cedary finish that never gets better. This bottle was pretty much a dud.

Don NicanorNieto Senetiner 2008 Don Nicanor Malbec ... I will admit I had high hopes for this Don Nicanor, and it delivered. Blue and black fruit with smoky and tobacco notes, plus mocha-black cherry and cedar with hints of coffee bean on the finish. There was a big hit of cedar that interplays on the palate as it opens and the 14.5% alcohol shows its heat. The good news is it never really falls apart, it stays intact, and by the last glass it is smooth as silk and quite enjoyable.

CatalpaAtamisque 2013 Catalpa Old Vines Malbec ... This wine is a mere baby at 7 years of age (when compared with the other two) so it should be the best one on the table. Lots of dark berries cedar mocha white pepper and bittersweet cocoa ... As it opens it moves into a milk chocolate-dark chocolate / cocoa mix and while the fruit is dark it does have quite a bit of tannin punch behind it. Has it peaked? Only time would tell - but now's a good time to open this one up as it is drinking quite well right now.




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