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.