Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition panel tasting of South American signature grapes (see blue link below).
Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2017 - Oct 2018 Decanter review
The 2015 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below). Alas, the 2015 was sold out in the UK long before publication of Decanter, and we can suggest the new 2016 vintage as a close alternative.
Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review
Doña Paula is a leading, modern winery at the forefront of exploring and investing in new, high quality wine regions in Argentina. Established in 1997, they own all of their vineyards covering 700 hectares. These vineyard sites are located in the best subregions within Mendoza including Ugarteche, Altamira, Gualtallary and Tupungato. The vineyards have always been cultivated using sustainable methods, maximising the true expression of terroir. Continuous innovation in vineyard management ensures Doña Paula produces top quality wines from one year to the next.
Warm temperatures during spring resulted in early bud break and early flowering. However, the combination of two cold springs in succession in the previous years (2015/16) has resulted in smaller clusters forming in 2017. Excellent weather conditions during the ripening period accelerated the harvest and ensured the grapes were in perfect health when picked. The 2017 vintage will be remembered for its superb quality, flavour concentration and low volume.
The grapes were sourced from two of Dona Paula's best estate vineyards: Finca Alluvia in Gualtallary, situated at 1,350 metres above sea level and Finca Los Indios, located in Altamira, Uco Valley at an altitude of 1,100 metres. The soils are stony in the first location and sandy loam in the second, but both have a high calcareous content. This Malbec displays the characteristics of its cool climate origins and the wide diurnal temperature differences. The daily diurnal temperature range is excellent for the production of quality grapes; the nightly cooling-off extends the ripening period, allowing the grapes to develop rich varietal characteristics while retaining balancing acidity. The vines are grown on espaliers, using drip irrigation and the vineyards are cultivated using sustainable agricultural practices.
The grapes were hand-picked, prior to a gentle destemming without crushing the berries. A cold, pre-fermentation maceration was carried out. Fermentation took place at low temperatures, followed by a post-fermentation maceration of 15 to 20 days, extracting colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was then racked to first, second and third-use French oak barrels for a period of 12 months.
Intense violet in colour, this estate Malbec has enticing aromas of plums, black cherries, liquorice and spice, backed by subtle mineral and graphite notes. Great balance and freshness on the palate, with a deep concentration of ripe fruit, soft tannins and a persistent finish. Perfect with a sirloin steak, hand-cut chips and herb roasted tomatoes.