A Young Winery's Marvelous Malbecs

A Young Winery's Marvelous Malbecs

My colleague Jay Miller writes about Argentina for my journal, The Wine Advocate. He recently reviewed offerings from the Bodega Achaval-Ferrer, which specializes in malbecs. Founded in 1998, the winery has swiftly developed a worldwide following. At the helm as winemaker is the renowned Tuscan consultant Roberto Cipresso. Here are some of his sensational new releases.


2005 MalbecThis dark ruby/purple wine offers up an enticing perfume of toasty oak, milk chocolate, coconut, and black cherry. Medium- bodied, with ample ripe black fruits, it can be enjoyed now. $26


2006 MalbecThis offering has a more expressive nose and is more structured than the '05 vintage. This wine would improve with four to six additional years in the cellar. It will drink well through 2020. $28


2005 QuimeraThe 2005 Quimera is 37% malbec, 28% merlot, 25% cabernet sauvignon, and 10% cabernet franc. The 2005 has less new oak than its older sibling. It is firmer and more structured. $48


2004 QuimeraAged for 12 months in 100% new French oak and bottled unfiltered. Opaque and purple-colored, it is medium-bodied, intense, and beautifully balanced. It should evolve for six to eight years. $48


2005 Malbec Finca MiradorThe 2005 Finca Mirador Malbec is denser and more austere than its 2004 counterpart. It is likely to have a longer drinking window, and it will be a pleasant task to compare the two vintages in another decade. $112


2004 Malbec Finca Bella VistaThis beast of a malbec is purple/black in color, with dark aromatics and a profound finish. It delivers notes of toasty oak, scorched earth, espresso, black cherry, and blackberry. An extraordinary effort. $112


2004 Malbec Finca AltamiraThe opaque purple/black 2004, from 80-year-old-plus vines, is splendidly balanced. Rich with flavors of mineral, chocolate, and black fruits, it will evolve for 10-plus years and drink well through 2035. $112

Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good.

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