(2022) From the French winemaking family Fabre, who have been operating in South America for decades, this comes from 30-year-old vines in Rio Negro and spent a year in French oak barriques. Chocolatey and creamy on the nose, there's plenty of plush oak but also a depth of black fruit, very classy, the marriage of freshness and tang from the acids and tight tannins against the weight and creaminess.
(2008) J. Alberto is named after Noemia's brother and father. 95% Malbec, 5% Merlot, a field blend form the 1955 vineyard. 30% New oak. Much meatier, richer nose, with more fragrance from the fruit and oak. The palate has some dry, mouth-coating tannin, but the florality and beautiful persistence of the fruit comes through powerfully, with a gorgeous acid and tannin axis adding superb freshness. Delicious and very long.
(2008) Bottled the day before I tasted it. Massive chocolaty quality to the fruit, but that beautifully honed black fruit and raspberry freshness comes through. The fruit sweetness is terrific, with a coffeeish oak coming through and plenty of freshening acidity and tannins. This needs time to knit, but has fantastic black sweet fruit and beautiful structure and length.
(2008) 100% Malbec. All from the same 1932 vineyard, only 3,000 bottles can be produced. Hans went through the vineyard marking each of the Malbec vines to identify them. Only natural yeasts, and each berry de-stemmed by hand. Beautiful nose, flooded with cedar and truffle, with plenty of sous-bois, ripe, rich chocolaty berries and a touch of iron-filings. Beautiful nose. Gorgeous palate too, with a bloody streak of gaminess, and a beautifully refined, svelte black fruit. Coffee and chocolate intermingle with silk, ripe tannins in a seductive wine.
(2008) Fantastic nose, with such elegant, Bordeaux-like blood-streaked, gamy black fruit, with hints of minerality and earth. The palate has delightful sweetness with extraordinary ripe, deep, very mouth filling melange of the copious ripe fruit, and all that bloody, fine minerality. Delightful elegance here, and a delightful balance again, with a long, long finish.
(2008) Very, very tight, with much more intense, mineral, but beautifully expressive Malbec nose of floral-edged, kirsch-like black plum and cherry. The oak is sweet and vanillin, with hints of mint and chocolate. The palate has a real intensity too, with a svelte blue-black raciness, lots of kirsch and taut fruit against Sandalwood and mellow coffee and earthy flavours. Terrific acidity, and very dry tannins, giving this power and structure, though perhaps not quite the finesse of the earlier vintages.
(2008) The "Cincuenta y Cinco" from the 1955 vineyard, has a very nice nose here, with lovely cherry freshness. There's a touch of liquorice and black plum skin bite on the palate, with a lovely crisp acidity and very nice, smooth and svelte tannins with a lovely juicy fruit and acidity. Very firm black fruit. Lovely finesse and quality.
(2008) Only just over 2,200 bottles were made of the "Trenta y Dos", from the 1932 vineyard. Terrific nose, with lots concentration without appearing too big. Plenty of bold black fruit and touches of truffle and wood smoke in the background. The palate has lovely structure, with raciness and firmness, though a touch less giving than the 2006 55.
(2008) 30% new oak. Real blackberry fruit concentration, with very refined, subtle spices. A touch of star anise and caraway seed. The palate also has a silky, tight, very focused palate, with racy tannins and fine concentration, and a svelte, pure, very long finish. This is a tightly-wound, black cherry acidity and fantastic sense of minerality and plum and cherry juiciness.