August 2016 Value Red Selection TintONegro Malbec 2015
TintoNegro, meaning “black wine” in Spanish, is meant to celebrate the essence of Malbec in Mendoza. Known for its dark, blackish color, Malbec is definitely a Tinto Negro. TintoNegro wines are meant to reflect the heart and soul of Malbec in Mendoza. The portfolio explores the terroirs of Mendoza where Malbec does best, gradually isolating unique vineyard sites and winemaking techniques which can showcase the heights of concentration and complexity to which Malbec can aspire. TintoNegro was born of the long time friendship and professional collaboration of Alejandro Sejanovich and Jeff Mausbach, colleagues at Bodega Catena Zapata for almost 15 years. As Wine Education Director for Catena, Jeff travelled the world preaching the gospel of the unique character of high altitude Malbec from Mendoza, explaining the character and expression of its many different terroirs. As Vineyard Director at Catena, Alejandro had extensive, first-hand experience growing Malbec in all of these terroirs, from the fruit driven, easy drinking style of Lujan de Cuyo to the concentrated, complex profile La Consulta. His intimate knowledge of the top vineyards in each region means TintoNegro wines are made from only the best fruit each area has to offer.
Most consumers in the US do not fully understand the layout of Mendoza, and the number of different regions and styles that Mendoza can produce. It is a large area that encompasses the three larger regions of Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, and the more southerly Uco Valley. Over the last 10 – 15 years the Uco Valley has been “discovered” as a source for high quality grapes, although farming has been happening there for a very long time. Catena was one of the pioneers in experimenting with new regions, often at higher altitudes, and different clones and soil types.
This gave both Jeff and Alejandro an intimate knowledge of the different areas of Mendoza, and which vineyards were producing the best fruit.
In the current US market, Malbec has become very trendy, bringing with it corporate winemaking and a lowering of standards to meet certain price points. There is a lot of sub $10 Malbec out there which is not very exciting. TintoNegro is able to distinguish itself as a producer of very well made, site specific, and very enjoyable wines, which guarantee that TintoNegro has a long future. This gave both Jeff and Alejandro an intimate knowledge of the different areas of Mendoza, and which vineyards were producing the best fruit.
James Suckling 91 points. “A rich and round textured malbec with loads of chocolate, dried berry and hints of vanilla character. Full and flavorful. Drink or hold.”