Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2019 Claret Alternatives article; (see blue link below).
El Esteco, Fincas Notables, Cabernet Franc 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review
Among the Calchaquí Valley’s lush vegetation, rivers and rocky mountains, there emerges, unexpectedly, a stretch of desert. At an altitude of 1,800 metres, with its radiant sunshine and ideal temperature range hot days and cool nights, the environment is perfect for the vine growing. And it is here, in the heart of this unique valley where El Esteco stands with 1,000 acres of vineyards. French immigrants David and Salvador Michel founded the winery in 1892, taking advantage of this special region to produce distinctive and elegant high-end wines, with great concentration of colour, deep aromas and well-defined flavours.
100% Cabernet Franc.
The grapes for this wine are carefully harvested by hand, after which a second selection process is carried out to ensure that only the best grapes are used. The juice undergoes pre-fermentation maceration at 8°C in French oak vats. Indigenous and selected yeasts are used for alcoholic fermentation, which takes place at controlled temperatures between 26°C- 30°C. Malolactic fermentation occurs in new French oak barrels after which the wine is aged for 15 months. The wine is bottled following a light filtration and is aged for another 6 months before release.
A concentrated and intense wine with notes of black fruits, sweet pepper and hints of menthol The oak is well-balanced and of medium intensity The palate has ripe, juicy tannins with a long, persistent finish