Wine of the Week: 2010 Finca Las Nubes Malbec (Valle de Cafayate, Salta)

I had originally added the Finca Las Nubes Malbec to a comparison of two other Malbecs from Salta, Argentina. But then I tasted it. It was distinct, complex, and utterly enjoyable; in other words, a wine that certainly merited being selected as my Wine of the Week. For more than 20 years, winemaker José Luis Mounier worked with flying winemaker Michel Rolland and the Etchart family, which has been making wine in Argentina since the 1850s. He now has his own winery, Bodega José L. Mounier, which is producing fairly small quantities of great wines in from their high-altitude vineyards in Salta.

The addition of 15% Cabernet Sauvignon to the Malbec was evident. In terms of the appearance, it lent a brick tone to balance out the violet one often sees in Malbecs. On the palate, cassis came across, along with fresh cherry and a not unbecoming green/herbal character. The nose was incredibly intense, with concentrated black fruits, black pepper, vinyl, and dust. With such an intense nose, one might expect a cumbersome and harsh palate.  It was neither. Medium-plus acidity allowed the wine to retain freshness. The tannins were moderate. One thing that I liked a lot about this wine is that it had great structure without being oaky. In fact, the wine spent only three months in second-use oak. The finish had a slight perfume character and spice. The Finca Las Nubes Malbec is a terrific example of a high quality Malbec from outside Mendoza. Very good/excellent.

At Julio’s Liquors for $21.99.

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Katrin is one of the co-founders of Wine Dine With Us. She enjoys sharing her love of wine on the blog, and is particularly fond of wines from Argentine, Alto Adige, and Germany. A lifelong environmentalist, Katrin has become increasingly interested in issues of sustainability in wine and food, local food production, biodynamics, and organic agriculture. When not drinking wine and writing about it, she is a nonprofit professional, specializing in fundraising and special events.

One Response to “Wine of the Week: 2010 Finca Las Nubes Malbec (Valle de Cafayate, Salta)”

  1. June 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    We are pretty stoked that you discovered this wine. This is the first time Jose Luis’s own wines have been exported to the USA — they just arrived in the past 6 months!

    What did you think of the labels? You should also try his rose – especially this time of year, it is the perfect wine for the wine person who wants something a little different from the typical pink wine.

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