California Malbec

Monte Rosso Vineyard Malbec

/ 750ml 2014 Vintage
/ 750ml 2015 Vintage

Monte Rosso Vineyard rolls across steep, rugged terrain in the majestic Mayacamas Mountains nearly 1,300 feet above the Sonoma Valley. Owned by the Louis M. Martini Winery since 1938, it is named for its rich, red volcanic soils and has produced award-winning wines for three generations. The vineyard’s mix of high altitude, position above the fog, low-yielding vines, and ideal western exposure produces wines with a unique sense of terroir. Monte Rosso is one of California’s most prized locations for wine grapes.

2014 Vintage: This Malbec is both intense and graceful, with an opulent purple color. It swirls with rich aromas and flavors of dense jammy red fruit mixed with boysenberry and blackberry jam. Those meld with nutmeg, clove, black pepper and hints of vanilla bean. The refined, velvety tannins create a luscious mouthfeel and 14 months of barrel aging give hints of toast and smoky, sweet oak to the long, luxurious finish.

2015 Vintage: This Malbec is both intensely flavored and graceful, with a beautiful dark purple color. It swirls with rich aromas and flavors of juicy red fruit and blueberry pie woven through with notes of hickory smoked bacon, chocolate and vanilla bean. The refined, velvety tannins create a luscious mouthfeel and 15 months of barrel aging imparted hints of toast and smoky, sweet oak to the lingering, luxurious finish.

Winemaker notes:

2014 Vintage: The grapes for our 2014 Malbec were hand-harvested and delivered to the winery in half-ton bins. The fruit was hand-sorted prior to destemming and partially crushed before being gravity-fed into small open-top tanks. After primary fermentation was complete, the wine was racked by gravity into barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wine aged in 23% new French oak, 12% new American oak, and 65% used oak. We managed individual barrel lots before assembling the blend and sending it back to barrel to let the flavors integrate. Total aging was 14 months in barrels and 12 more months in bottle.

2015 Vintage: The grapes for our 2015 Malbec were hand-harvested and delivered to the winery in half-ton bins. The fruit was hand-sorted prior to destemming and partially crushed before being gravity-fed into small open-top tanks. After primary fermentation was complete, the wine was racked by gravity into barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wine aged in 67% new French oak, 25% new American oak, and 8% used oak. We managed individual barrel lots before assembling the blend and sending it back to barrel to let the flavors integrate. Total aging was 15 months in barrels and 12 more months in bottle.

Viticulture notes:

2014 Vintage: We selected all of the fruit for our Malbec from a block that is about 1,000 feet in elevation on our Monte Rosso Vineyard in the Sonoma Valley. The 2014 growing season on Monte Rosso’s mountaintop was another outstanding one with early bud break, little rain, steady warmth and long hang time. Consistently mellow temperatures throughout spring and summer let grapes ripen fully and evenly, and an exceptionally long harvest gave us concentrated, well-structured fruit of exceptional quality and depth.

2015 Vintage: We selected all the fruit for our Malbec from a single block that is about 1,000 feet in elevation in our legendary Monte Rosso Vineyard. The 2015 vintage was another in a string of warm, dry and early growing seasons with outstanding quality once again, though yields were a bit smaller. Mild weather without heat spikes or cool stretches lasted from late spring through the summer, allowing slow, even ripening that built excellent ripeness and complexity. A mild, dry and early harvest gave us small berries with intense aromatics, concentrated ripe fruit flavors and outstanding structure and balance.