(2022) From the company founded by Susana Balbo in 1999, this comes from vineyards in the Uco Valey a almost 4,000ft, the premium selection of grapes spending 13 months in French oak, 30% new. It displays Malbec's more charming, violet and lifted, kirsch-like aspect beautifully. the sheen of oak is glossy and adds depth, with a little cigar-box sophistication. In the mouth it's über-plush, svelte and refined black fruit flooding-across the mid-palate. But there is backbone and edge to this wine too, that smooth character cajoled and coaxed into something more grippy and intense by big, powerful grape and oak tannins, really decisive acidity, and a smoky barrel-created depth. It's a concentrated but elegant Malbec that certainly needs a chunk of red meat protein now, but which should cellar for a decade and more.
(2022) Made in concrete eggs (hence concreto), with wild yeasts, this comes from some of Zuccardi's stoniest soils in the Uco Valley and was made with 100% whole bunches. Super deep and vibrant colour, there is meatiness and earthiness on the nose often found with wild ferments, the palate loaded with savoury dark fruit, plum and a broad stripe of liquorice, whole bunch fermentation perhaps also adding a little firm, hessian character in the finish.
(2022) From the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina, there's a meatiness here, but also a sense of plushness with quite thick and rich red and black fruit, a touch of dark cocoa too. On the palate a big wine, substantial depth of black fruit, but a nice gravelly edge that gives it freshness. There's a sour cherry bite to the acidity too, again helping cut through the meaty density of the wine.
(2018) A blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Tannat from a single, high-altitude vineyard in the Agrelo sub-region of Mendoza, this is a serious red blend that spent 18 months in French oak barrels. Interestingly however, it also uses augmented reality to tell the story of the vineyard, a beautifully done and entertaining adjunct to the stuff in the bottle: download the app, point your phone at the label, and the label 'comes to life' to tell the story in words and pictures. As for the wine, its a lovely Bordeaux-style blend, graphite and peppery spice layering ripe blackcurrant fruit on the nose, the medium-bodied palate creamy and juicy, chewy but slick tannins and an agile cherry-pit acidity giving length to the wine's volume. At time of review there are limited retailers of the 2015 vintage, and Corking Wines are listing the 2016.
(2016) From the southerly Los Indios vineyard in Uco at 1100 metres altitude, this is 60% Malbec, 30% Cabernetnet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah that is aged 12 months in new French oak. The Cab adds a lot of black fruit cassis depth, but then so does the gentle char and chocolate of the oak. The palate has a lovely fresh acidity, real spark of cherry skin grip and energy. This does not appear to be available in UK retail.
(2016) From Gualtallary in Uco at 1350 metres, 50% Cabernet Franc, 45% Malbec, 5% Casavecchia. 12 months in new oak. Just the merest hint of menthol or olive, but it is plush again, and has a little herby note against the chocolate plushness. A delightful raciness of the red fruit skin acidity against dry, chocolate tannins, and the sweet fruit persisting. A very nice wine again. A little more meat and tannin than the 1100.
(2016) From the Los Indios vineyard in Uco just 2000 bottles are produced. This wine is fermented in oak after a careful fruit selection, and aged 16 months in new French oak. It has a meatiness and plummy richness, plenty of spicy and creamy polished oak. There is a little lift, a little dark violet hint, but in truth I miss the little extra light and shade of the 1100 or 1350. The palate is chewy and rich, a lot of fruit, a fair amount of oak, and it has great length. Deep, sinewy, but perhaps could use just a little more light and shade. The 2010 is in the UK at time of writing.
(2016) Two years in barrel, partially from bush vines. Has real singing violet and ripe plum and black cherry. There is a smoothing layer of creamy and chocolaty spicy oak, but the full creamy fruit drives this. There's a meaty umami character on the palate, an earthy mineral style, plummy and darkly fleshy, with great acidity and ripe, plummy tannins.
(2016) Fermented in open top barrels, whole cluster, partial carbonic. Time in barrels (60% new) then into foudres. River soils of sediment and river stones. Delightful violet lift, really has those top notes that are beguiling over ripe, but not heavy red and black fruits, a little schist or earthy edge. Fantastic mouth-feel, of lighter tannins, that raciness of red fruit and cherry tartness. Dry, and racy, with an ashy dry quality and retaining that juicy, fresh acid edge of acidity.
(2016) Winemaker Marcos sees this as their ‘icon’ or flagship wine, although the Parcel series is priced a little higher. 100% Malbec from the same three vineyards of the Parcel series, but from patches with less calcium carbonate. Two years in barrel, 50% new, then another two years in bottle before release. Liquorice, herbs and florals on the nose, loads of red berry fruit and a little schist dark fruit beneath. The palate is super plush and sweet, flooded with black fruit, but the edge of acidity and the grain of the tannins roughens things up very nicely, giving this savouriness and not just ‘fruit bomb’ style.