Calchaqui Valley, Argentina
James Suckling 92 points!
Don David Malbec Reserve is our latest wine gem from Argentina, from Bodega El Esteco. With over 1500 acres of vineyards standing at 5500-6600 feet above sea level, Bodega El Esteco is the most important winery in the Cafayate Valley of Argentina.
Brothers Salvador and David Michel Torino founded the winery in 1892, 22 years after discovering the Cafayate as an area suitable for fine wine production. The Cafayate Valley averages 330-340 sunny days per year, and has low humidity and a great thermal range, with evenly warm days (82 degrees) and cool nights (54 degrees). Irrigation is mandatory, as only 3-6 inches of rain fall per year.
All of the Bodega El Esteco wines are hand-harvested in the estate's own vineyards. Additionally, Andrés Höy, their production manager, practices sustainable, environmentally- friendly farming by minimizing the use of fertilizers and chemicals in the vineyard. The unique Cafayete climate manifests itself in the elegant, focused profile of Bodega El Esteco's wines. These are wines with an indelible sense of place, wines which complement food rather than overpower, wines which are true to their origin.
Grapes are carefully chosen from Bodega El Esteco's own estate, in the 'La Coleccion' vineyard. The vineyard rests in the province of Salta in Cafayate Valley, at an altitude of 5600 ft. above sea level. The grapes are stemmed and crushed with a roller system. Fermentation is done with selected yeasts at controlled temperatures of 82-86°F. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation. The wine is then aged for 12 months in oak barrels of first to fifth use (60% American, 40% French).
Don David Malbec Reserve is a rich red with full body and flavors of blackberry, plum, black raspberry, cedar and spice. Enjoy it over the next 10-12 years with roast beef, grilled meats, venison, roasts, and BBQ ribs.