Grapelive Daily Pick
By Kerry Winslow
2006 Fincas Don Martino Malbec Old Vines, Mendoza, Argentina.
This high altitude terroir Malbec is about 3,850 feet above sea level and is from a vineyard on its original (French) rootstock and was (re) planted in 1926 on rocky and alluvial soils. This vintage shows ripe and vibrant fruit and has lush and full-bodied texture with loads of black and red fruit, making for a deep and richly flavored wine. I had not seen, heard of, or tried Martino wines before and was very impressed with the complexity and intensity I found, but also it was just plain good and a joy to discover. It seems they use new French oak only for this cuvee and it certainly gives an elegant and refined touch to this big wine as well as smoothing out the fine tannins, while giving subtle toast, vanilla and sweet smoky notes. The palate is bold and round with lots of black plum, cherry and mixed mountain berry fruits with flashes of chocolate, coffee and licorice. ($18 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive