James Suckling 91 points - Aromas of dried berries, spices and leather follow through to a full body. There’s firm and silky tannins plus a juicy finish. A fine malbec with pure fruit character. Drink or hold.
Vinous 88 points - (made without oak): Saturated, bright medium ruby. Very pure aromas and flavors of crushed blackberry, bitter chocolate and violet. A ripe, sweet fruit bomb in the mouth, without any make-up from oak to get in the way. Nicely integrated acidity leavens the wine’s sweetness. Finishes with smooth tannins and a hint of positive reduction.
In April we had the opportunity to fly down to Mendoza
to visit some of the newest wineries in the region. We met
with the owners of Tintonegro, featured in
our previous newsletter, and the dynamic
duo of Matias Fraga and Alfredo Merlo of
Maal Wines. They are currently rehabbing
a 1905 winery and resuscitating a small 85-
year old flood irrigated vineyard just outside
the winery walls. This is a true labor of love
epitomizing their respect for the history of
viticulture in Argentina. Their Biutiful Malbec
comes from the high altitude Carlitos Vineyard
(1,250 meters) in Altamira, San Carlos. Hand
harvested and fermented whole cluster with native yeasts,
this wine is aged without any oak to better showcase the fruit
from this 100% Malbec bottling. Alfredo also uses the lowest
amount of sulphur allowed. This is a big ripe wine with juicy
black fruit flavors and fresh acidity that can be paired with
grilled red meats or anything from the barbecue.
|Alfredo Merlo is a young winemaker from Mendoza, Argentina, eager to show the world the style of Malbec wines that he enjoys both producing and drinking.
His family has been in the wine business for decades. His father is a vineyard manager who owns and manages “Lujan Agricola” (Mendoza’s largest retailer of supplies for vineyards and farms).
Before devoting 100% of his time to this project, Alfredo took part in the harvests of the following wineries, among others:
• Harlan Estate (Napa) in 2008, with Cory Empting. • Pulenta Estate in 2009, with Eduardo Pulenta
• Montana Gisborne in 2010 in New Zealand
• Achaval Ferrer in 2011, with Robby Cipresso
• Harlan Estate (Napa) in 2012 again
The grapes for MAAL wines are sourced from Alfredo’s vineyard in Lujan de Cuyo, and from small special vineyards from family and very close friends.
“My vision is to produce unique, elegant and intense Malbec wines, that will reflect the soul of a vineyard, enhancing the characteristics that make that vineyard and its location different from others.”