2012 Kuleto Estate Malbec, Napa Valley
The 2012 is a gorgeously fragrant wine. Though a touch riper than in years past, it still displays the freshness that we prize in the variety. The nose is dominated by an intense huckleberry or ripe cranberry aroma. Underneath, flavors of fresh oregano and vanilla bean add complexity and make it an ideal food wine.
95% Malbec, 5% Syrah (from co-fermented lot)
16 months in 20% new Hungarian oak puncheons
We prize our estate Malbec for its ability to come to full flavor maturity on the vine without the high sugars (and subsequent high alcohols) often associated with mountain-top reds in the Napa Valley. It’s all about exotic aromas and freshness in the mouth. Because of the slow ripening, the few blocks of Malbec on the property are rarely picked in their entirety but rather row by row. As a result, the small batches are often co-fermented with small amounts of other varieties that happen to be perfectly ripe at the same time. In 2012 we produced one pure Malbec lot and another one that was co-fermented with some Syrah that had the same blue fruit freshness of the Malbec. Both were fermented in 3 ton open-top tanks and punched down for 10 days. Both were basked pressed and put to mostly older Hungarian oak puncheons. We like the larger 500L barrels for Malbec, because they preserve the juicy fruit aspect of the variety.
Vintage 2012 was considered ‘perfect’ by the prognosticators as soon as the last grapes were making their way to the wineries. It was perfect in the sense that quality and quantity benefited both grower and winemaker. The weather cooperated throughout all critical parts of the growing season to produce beautifully ripe and flavorful fruit.
Only 190 cases produced