Melipal Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina

A bold nose full of black cherry, violet, vanilla and clove. The palate is full and rich, with layers of ripe fruit and enough tannin to give it shape. A bold yet strikingly elegant wine to sip on throughout summer into winter. A spine stiff enough to handle your boldest foods, yet elegant enough to show up at the dance.

Grape Variety: 100% Malbec

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£14.65

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Melipal Malbec, Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, 2018

Tasting Note

A bold nose full of black cherry, violet, vanilla and clove. The palate is full and rich, with layers of ripe fruit and enough tannin to give it shape. A bold yet strikingly elegant wine to sip on throughout summer into winter. A spine stiff enough to handle your boldest foods, yet elegant enough to show up at the dance.

Food Pairing

Perfect for summer this wine pairs best with grilled or roasted meats.

Producer Info

The Aristi family have been farmers in the area for generations, but a dream to be more in contact with the end consumers of their labours, led them to the wine industry in 2002, when they started Melipal in the Agrelo district – Mendoza’s finest. The vineyard around the winery is 62 hectares in size and planted with Malbec and other Bordeaux varietals. In 2004, they were lucky enough to buy 25 hectares of the Nazarenas vineyard, Malbec planted in 1923, from which their top wines come. The family have also bought land in the Uco valley, which will start to bear fruit in the next couple of years.

Regional Info

Agrelo is a small wine-producing wine region about 20 miles (35km) south of the city of Mendoza in Argentina. Located on the southern side of the Mendoza River just south of Perdriel, around the village from which it takes its name, the area is home to some of the country’s most famous wine estates. Agrelo’s terroir is considered to be some of the best in Mendoza for the production of big, complex red wines made from the Malbec grape variety.

The village is located in the western foothills of the Andes mountains, and is a part of the Lujan de Cuyo department, an administrative title which handily covers some of the best viticultural land in Argentina. The wine-producing zone of Agrelo slopes upward from the town toward the Andes, with the highest (and most desirable) vineyards in the west reaching up to 3300ft (1000m) above sea level. The lower-lying eastern part of the area is closer to 3000ft (900m). Agrelo has a dry, desert-like climate due to its position in the rain shadow of the Andes.

The altitude in Agrelo, while not at the extreme of Argentinean viticulture, is sufficiently high to have a pronounced effect on the quality of the grapes grown here. At this height, sunlight is more intense than in lower-lying areas and so grapes have hot sun during the day to help them ripen. These warm, sunny days are followed by much cooler nights due to cold alpine winds that sweep down the western side of the perpetually snow-capped Andes. It is this diurnal temperature variation that is the key aspect of Agrelo’s terroir, extending the ripening period and balancing crisp acidity and complex flavours in the grapes.

The soils in Agrelo are generally sandy loam with a deeper layer of gravelly stones, made up from eroded, mineral-rich material from the slopes of the Andes. These soils have exceptional drainage, and careful irrigation during summer is an essential part of the viticultural process. Using drip irrigation, viticulturists are able to carefully control yield and vigour, and produce small berries with an excellent concentration of sugars, acids and tannins. The wines that result from these grapes are firmly structured, with great complexity.

Winemakers Note

Hand harvested, de-stemmed and transferred to 150Hl stainless steel tanks. Fermented with indigenous yeasts at 28-30C with pumping over. Maceration of 20 days. Moved to French oak barrels for 12 months maturation.

Awards

Gold Medal in Sommelier Wine Awards 2019

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