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Malbec from the Land of Dreams

by Carlos Chacon 4 years ago in review / travel / vineyard / vintage / wine / feature

Malbec like you never ever tasted

In the central area of the arid, southern reaches of Argentina, there is a rare oasis: the Río Negro Valley. An ideal place for growing grapes of great concentration, given the low humidity which goes all year round (to a 30% max!) and barely 7 inches of rain a year. Sounds hard and uninviting, yet its nickname would never give that away: "Land of Dreams." That is the nickname it goes by at Bodega Noemía.

The results from these vineyards are astounding. Wine Spectator gave them scores over 93 over 100 for six consecutive years (2004-2010). 2009 brags a 96 over 100 score and to complete the package it actually has a spot on the 2011 WS Top 100 Wines, a well-deserved prize.

The Wine

A deep purple body with a violet rim, extremely bright. First nose is just powerful: vanilla, ripe black fruit, leather and a curiously out-of-place citrus note get together to create an astounding and unusual experience.

The tasting is the hard part: complex, with a moderate acidity... layers upon layers reveal themselves gradually as the palate hunts for the elements perceived on the first nose. Eventually, you find them: cranberry, black plum, and blackberry all over ripe. Oak is masterfully integrated and gives up leather and vanilla notes. Tannins are silky.

The finish is long and dominated by intense oak notes and a mineral note that reminds us of the unforgiving conditions of the Patagonia, where the vines have to find water by themselves, sending their roots deep into the rocky ground.

As a recommendation on when to open the bottle, the ideal would probably be right on the start of next decade (2021-2023) but watch out: only 3,110 bottles were produced and you might have some trouble getting yours.

Even if you do not get one from 2009, look out for 2010 and 2013: both spectacular years for Argentinian wine.

How and When to Drink?

This is a complex wine, actually complex enough to enjoy by itself, but give it a chance to go with the typical Argentinian Asado (it will blow your mind!). If you are not into red meat, try it out with hard and semi-hard cheese, or with dark chocolate to end a memorable evening.




Carlos Chacon

Costa Rica, photography, lifestyle, wine and food... not necessarily in that order!

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