Viña Alicia ‘Paso de Piedra’ Malbec 2011
Deep purple in color, with a spicy aroma, plum, raisins, and dark cherry-like flavors. Tannins are soft, velvety, and sweet. Very elegant, full-bodied, and a long finish which shows off its splendor and richness.
88 pts Robert Parker Jr.’s The Advocate (LG)
Moving to the reds, the 2011 Paso de Piedra Malbec had its fruit sourced from 150-year-old vines in Las Compuertas, fermented in inox and aged for six months in used barrels trying to keep the Malbec character. This fruit wine is like an intro to Malbec, with the wood very well-integrated, some lactic and fruit of the forest aromas, notes of honey, pollen and beeswax, and a touch of smoke. Lean and commercial, it has an intense palate that is fresh flavors of red and black fruits, soft tannins and a bitter finish. Easy to drink, but a wine with character, it represents good value and serves as an introduction to Malbec from Mendoza. Drink 2014-2017.
87 pts Stephen Tanzer’s IWC (ST)
Good dark red. Blackberry, licorice, musky tobacco and sweet oak on the very ripe, honeyed nose; I wanted a bit more energy. Supple, silky and broad but quite dry, in a rather Old World style. Coffee and mocha notes currently overshadow the wine’s primary cherry and berry fruit. Tannins are a tad dry, even bitter.
Harvest by hand, in 20k plastic cartons, in order to prevent the grapes from breaking up or other damages. Harvest takes place March 15-20 every year. Fermentation is performed in large oak foudres, with repeated remontage and pissonier, in order to achieve softer tannins and great color. Malolactic fermentation is realized partly in steel tanks and the rest in French oak barrels. The wine then returns to the oak barrels, where they age for 8 months, in order to optimize clarification and develop a more pronounced color. Bottling takes place after a very light filtering process over natural earth, in order to filter out any impurities.