2010 Tinto Negro Malbec Co-ferment

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm

This label is a collaboration between two men who have been working at Catena Zapata for over a decade. That’s substantial pedigree, but honestly when I tried the cheaper Malbec from this label, I wasn’t blown away. There was nothing wrong with it, and for a wine under $10 I certainly couldn’t complain about it, but neither was I especially impressed.

That is precisely the opposite of my reaction to this Malbec Co-ferment, which is 90% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petite Verdot. As the label indicates, the varieties are co-fermented, meaning they go through fermentation all together, as opposed to being fermented separately and then blended afterward, the more common method for making varietal blends. There is unmistakable sweetness to the dark, brambly fruit, as well as flavors of licorice, tobacco, sage, and plum. The winery’s tech sheet does not mention residual sugar, but Stephen Tanzer’s review does cite 5.8g/L. Whatever the rs, it definitely doesn’t come off as cloying, perhaps owing to respectable tannic structure and acidity. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call this Bordellaise in style, it is a nicely balanced wine that I would expect to appeal to a broad cross-section of consumers, and I consider it a good value for under $20.

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