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95 pts Descorchados
93+ pts The Wine Advocate – The impressive 2013 Brote Negro is pure Malbec from an old vineyard in Las Compuertas at 1,300 meters in altitude that was produced from a cooler year and combines power and freshness. It fermented destemmed after a 48-hour cold soak with four pump-overs per day for some ten days. It went through malolactic fermentation in barrique, where the wine matured for 16 months, with rackings every three months. It’s elegant and concentrated, polished and sleek. The oak is nicely integrated, and the wine has had time in bottle to develop complexity and polish the edges, so all components feel very integrated. It’s medium to full-bodied, with some fine-grained tannins, spicy and savory. 2,500 bottles were filled unfiltered in November 2014.
93 pts James Suckling – A deep and complex malbec with plenty of clove, cocoa powder and mineral character. Concentrated and creamy with very polished tannins behind that. I love the silky finish. Drink now.
The Arizu family have been grape growers and viticultural pioneers in Argentina for 5 generations. Think of them as the ‘Mondavis of Mendoza.’ They own the oldest producing Malbec vineyard in Mendoza –planted over 150 years ago – the Las Compuertas vineyard. About 20 years ago, random plants in this vineyard underwent a spontaneous transformation and came out of the dormant season as a new species of DNA seen nowhere else on earth. DNA analysis confirmed the uniqueness of the rogue, mutant vines which other than being different, were perfectly healthy. Each year since then, more random vines throughout the vineyard have made the transformation – just less than 1% of the total vineyard has transformed. The remaining 99% of the Las Compuertas vineyard is managed and harvested in 2 main sections. One part for Las Compuertas Malbec and the other for Paso de Piedra Malbec. The rogue vines are kept separate and used to create roughly 150cs of a wine called Brote Negro – The Black Shoots. Matt Kramer (Wine Spectator Magazine) called this “the benchmark for Argentina”. This is a tiny piece of wine history – drinking it is a rare privilege.
Winemaker’s tasting note: It is a deep crimson wine, with aromas of fresh fruit and taste of licorices, damson plum, violets, raspberries and touches of vanilla, raisins and spices.
In the Vineyard: Viña Alicia, Las Compuertas (Luján de Cuyo)
Varietal: 100% Malbec