2012Donaire2012 Fabre Montmayou “Donaire” Malbec Reserva, Rio Negro Region, Patagonia, Argentina.
I don’t review that many Argentine wines, but after tasting some new releases from Patagonia recently I’ve come around to really liking many more offerings other than a selected few from Mendoza and one of my favorites from this ultra remote region is the latest Donaire Reserva from Herve Joyaux Fabre’s Fabre Montmayou Winery. Fabre is a Frenchman from Bordeaux with a family history of wine merchants and he was inspired on a visit to Argentina by all the remarkable old vine vineyards available, so he bought a few up including some in Mendoza and this 122 acres in Patagonia with a plot of vines dating back to 1908 being his prize. The Donaire Malbec Reserva is a natural/native yeast fermented lot from mostly organic grapes that have no pesticides or herbicides used, the terroir here is very different than that of Mendoza and the wines have more energy and delicacy, especially this one with beautiful floral notes and medium weight body. There is almost a Cahors like old school charm here in the Donaire with a lovely violet scented nose that folds into a palate of blueberry, blackberry and tart plum fruits along with hints of leather, earth, spice, mineral and cedar. The mid palate and air bring out a fuller side to this Malbec, but it does feel heavy or oaky at all and doesn’t turn sweet and chocolatey as some Mendoza versions sometimes get, it remains vital and lingers on with kirsch and currants with just the right amount of firm tannin and lifting acidity. This is very entertaining stuff, drink over the next 3 to 5 years and best with robust and or rustic cuisine, Patagonia is on the rise, be sure to check out this and other wines from the area.
($20 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

By admin