Saturday, May 7, 2016

Michel Rolland Clos de los Siete Malbec

Argentinian Malbec has improved dramatically over the last 10 years. The hot spot is the Uco Valley, approximately 50 to 80 kilometres south of Mendoza. Many new projects have been started here, some architecturally spectacular wineries been built. The attraction is the altitude, 1000 to 1500 meters. Warm days are balanced by cool nights, leading to a long and even ripening period.

One of the most ambitious projects is the Clos de los Siete, a large compound with a huge vineyard as its centre piece, and seven wineries built around it. It was the idea of Michel Rolland, the famous French wine consultant. The project has run into problems, with a number of participants, among them the Taittinger family, withdrawing. A lot is shrowded in secrecy, but Michel Rolland is pushing on.

I am drinking the 2013 Michel Rolland Clos de los Siete Malbec blend. This is an outstanding wine.   Malbec dominates, but Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz grapes are included. The nose is an intense cocktail of red plum, cherry and pepper. This continues on the palate. This is a full-bodied wine with concentrated ripe fruit and a strong acidic backbone. The wine has a great line, as it moves smoothly to the back palate. It remains strong in the mouth along the way. There are smoky tones, but the oak treatment is restrained. The finish is silky, fresh and acidic at this point in time.

This wine combines the lushness of a sun-drenched vineyard with French winemaking to beautiful effect. The wine is too early to drink, but no doubt, the components will integrate perfectly. This wine is also attractively priced for the quality.

Score: 94/+++

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