Vina Alicia Las Compuertas Malbec 2017
90 pts Vinous (JH) – A Malbec from Las Compuertas, aged for 12 months in new French oak. Dark violet in hue. The nose contains notes of pencil box and furniture polish plus plum jam and a hint of pepper. Ripe and woody with an oxidative profile, it is intense in the mouth, displaying good body and concentration, a structure provided by fine oak tannins and an alcoholic content of 14.7% that brings volume and heat. Sober woody notes come out at the back of the throat, while the texture has dry, extractive elements.
Hand harvested in 25lb buckets to prevent berry damage. In the vineyard – first, after flowering, all poorly set (or formed) bunches are discarded. Then, after veraison, bunches that have not colored up sufficiently, are cut loose. The theory is that the plants should channel available energy into the best bunches only. What ultimately arrives at the winery, then goes through berry sorting. A cold maceration for 2 days takes place before fermentation begins. Post ferment maceration follows, and is maintained for roughly a week, to enable thorough tannin and polyphenol extraction, crucial for wine longevity. Once alcoholic fermentation ends, the wine is settled in new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. When this stage concludes, barrels are emptied and cleaned and then the wine is kept in these same ones for 12 months. Before bottling, the wine is kept for 60-90 days in a “cold chamber” at very low temps for stabilization, before it is then is bottled without filtering or fining. Finished wines remain in bottle for at least 12 more months, before being released to the market.