I am writing this on the night of Malbec World Day 2021 (17th April) as I am in the midst of an amazing wine journey through Argentina’s Malbec’s thanks to the lovely folks from Sol y Vino who kindly sent me four of their wines to sample.
Sol y Vino is a wine importer and distribution company based in Melbourne who specialise in Argentine wine, alongside European wines as well. They opened their virtual wine shop doors last year in 2020 and are part of the San Telmo group of restaurants. If you’re based in Melbourne you may have had the pleasure of trying some of their delicious wines at:
- San Telmo (Argentinian steak restaurant)
- Pastuso (Peruvian restaurant)
- Palermo (steakhouse and Argentinian restaurant)
- Asado (Argentinian and Spanish restaurant on the Southbank)
Currently they have 10% off their range of Malbec’s to celebrate Malbec World Day + they are offering free shipping to anywhere in Australia when you buy 6 or more bottles – woohoo!
We bought some cold meats, olives and some nice steaks (which we slathered in a homemade blue cheese sauce) to enjoy with the wines as we tasted them over the afternoon and evening.
So which of the Sol y Vino wines have I had the pleasure to sip and savour? Check out my tasting notes below. Please note all opinions are my own and I was under no obligation to post about them.
2016 Ruca Malen “Terroir Selection” Malbec
This delicious little number from Bodega Ruca Malen is aged for 12 months in 80% French oak and 20% American oak barrels of second use. It hails from Valle de Uco in the Mendoza wine region of Argentina.
I have to admit this one is incredibly easy to drink. It’s a pretty ruby shade in the glass with enticing aromas of vanilla infused cherries and red berries, rose petals and it also has a bit of flintiness to it. In the mouth I love the freshness of it from the acidity. It’s incredibly smooth and exceptionally balanced.
I found this one perfect for just sitting back and enjoying with good conversation.
2018 Piattelli “Cafayate” Reserva Malbec
This Malbec from Piattelli Vineyards comes from the Cafayate Valley in the Salta wine region in Argentina. It’s this wine region that has some of the highest vineyards in the world! The wine is aged for 9 months in American oak barrels prior to release.
Both Mr Spittoon and I loved it! It is incredibly food friendly and went so well with our selection of cold meats, cheese and olives. In fact it was an absolutely delicious match for the spicy Pomegranate and Harissa Green Olives that we had. I could eat and drink that combo all night!
In the glass it’s a deep garnet colour and oh my does it intrigue the senses on the nose. I was picking up everything from crispy bacon pieces to sea salt caramel chocolate and violets. It has quite a savoury nose which is deliciously deceiving as on the palate it’s so fresh and bright. There’s plenty of delicious plum flavours in there and it has a lovely depth of flavour, yet it’s soft and supple. Thoroughly enjoyable and super food friendly.
2016 Humberto Canale “Gran Reserva” Malbec
Hailing from Alto Valle in the Rio Negro wine region of Argentina, this is one big and juicy Patagonian Malbec from Bodega Canale. It’s aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels followed by 6 months in bottles before being release. It’s built to last and I have a feeling it’s only going to get better over the next 5 or so years.
It is a big, full bodied Malbec which we ended up running through the aerator to soften out the unapologetic tannins. It went deliciously with our medium rare steaks that we drowned in homemade blue cheese sauce.
In the glass it’s a deep shade of ruby with a really complex nose on it. There’s some dark chocolate in there, alongside some aromatic cedar, a lick of wild strawberries and it just has that ‘black forest’ feel to it. In the mouth it packs a punch, but one big delicious punch. The perfect steak wine and a wine that’ll be enjoyed by many over the coming years I am sure.
2015 Bodegas del Desierto “Pampa” Malbec
Bodegas del Desierto also hails from Patagonia, from the Rio Colorado Valley in La Pampa. Hence the name 😉 It is aged for 18 months in French and American oak barrels.
We popped this one in the decanter (thanks for the tip Gonzalo!) and I am glad we did to give it some time to open up. We also thoroughly enjoyed this one with our steaks however my preference was to have it on it’s own. We ended up finishing our night in front of the fire (aka gas heater that looks like a fire.. haha) with a nice big glass of this Patagonian Malbec each. It was the perfect end to our Malbec World Day celebrations.
Out of all the above, this one was the darkest in colour. It’s a super deep silky dark red colour in the glass. It has an intense nose on it. I was picking up everything from floral notes to peppered raspberries, vanilla custard and cherry cigars. While in the mouth it’s vibrant, juicy and incredibly well structured. The fruit flavours and tannins are in perfect harmony. Divine!
Yum! Oh what a night. And a massive thank you again to Gonzalo and the Sol y Vino team for sharing your beautiful Argentine Malbec’s with us!