2019 Odonata Wines, Malbec, Pedregal Vineyard, Paicines AVA, San Benito County.
The beautiful and opulent blueberry and currant fruit laced dark garnet Malbec from Dennis Hoey at Odonata is a limited release wine of which just 320 cases were made from the Pedregal Vineyard, in the limestone and gravelly soils of the Paicines AVA in San Benito County, home of some old vines and unique and rare varietals. Odonata has a stellar collection of 2019 vintage reds from which to chose and this one is one of my favorites so far, along with their Cabs, Syrah and Grenache offerings, as well as a tidy lineup of whites and some very cool sparkling wines, that includes a red sparkling Grenache and a Tondre Riesling sparkler. The Malbec is nicely purple and structured on the full bodied palate and has an array of dark fruit, including the mentioned blueberry and currant, along with plum and cherry as well as vanilla, cedar and anise accents, making it a delicious more Bordeaux style red to go with meat dishes like steak and or Spring lamb.

The Malbec grape in France is widely planted from the mentioned Bordeaux region, where it is mainly a blending grape, especially in the Medoc, to the Loire Valley, where it is known as Côte, but it is the star in the Cahors region of Southwest France near the Pyrenees Mountains. The black Malbec wines of Cahors, sometimes mixed with tiny percentages of Merlot, Tannat and or Cabernet Franc are historic, pre-dating Bordeaux by hundreds if not thousands of years are rustic country wines that the Romans loved. The Malbec grapes for Odonata’s 2019 version were punched down gently throughout the cold soak, during primary fermentation, and saw an extended maceration totaling 14 days. Then the dark Malbec wine was pressed directly to barrel. Hoey then aged his creation for 12 months in 30% New French Oak and 70% in well seasoned and lightly spicy Hungarian Oak. The results are tasty and impressive, as with all of the latest stuff here at Odonata, this is a vintage for their reds no question and I highly recommend checking them out while they are still available! These wines are also wildly good values too.
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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