Casa Juanita Malbec 2017
These vineyards in Vistalba are high in Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes between 870 and 1100 metres above sea level. The climate is dry and warm, but night temperatures are cool, which helps extend the ripening season and irrigation is provided by melt waters from the mountains, so the low rainfall is not a problem. Water is distributed by a complex series of channels and dams. The breeze is continuous and even which is very good for the health of the vineyards, not allowing air to stand still around ripening bunches of grapes which can lead to mildew and mould problems. Indeed, Mendoza is one of the most naturally healthy vineyard regions in the world. Soils are deep and stony, not alluvial and not too vigorous, therefore, ideal for vines. In total, the Barberis family have 100 hectares of vineyard which are all hand cultivated.
Grapes are received into stainless steel tanks after hand picking; wines are pressed with modern pneumatic presses, so is very controlled and gentle. Caps are plunged to extract colour and fermentation temperatures are kept low and wild yeasts are used. The ripeness of the fruit is very full and the tannins extracted from the skins are ripe and mature, not harsh and vigorous, largely due to the long maceration period of 25 days. 30% of the Malbec is then aged in American Oak for 9 months, the stronger, spicier elements of the American oak give underlying complexity and spice to the ripe, fresh, fruitful wine to which it is blended.
Hearty and meaty, great with charred red meat.