“Full-Bodied, Dense, and Chewy” — Tim Atkin, MW
Master of Wine Tim Atkin, one of the world’s foremost experts on South American wines, called the 2015 Mendel Malbec “full-bodied, dense, and chewy,” and rated it 93 points. This lush, juicy, fruit-driven red was crafted by legendary winemaker Roberto de la Mota, and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has called Mendel “The Best of the Best” and awarded a perfect five stars.
Mendel is one of the only estates in Argentina modeled after the “garagiste” châteaux of Bordeaux’s Right Bank. Set in the high ground of Luján de Cuyo, in the foothills of the Andes, Sielecki’s dad first planted the property in the 1930s.
Malbec vines planted in soils 3,200 feet above sea level in Luján de Cuyo spider through light sand and gravel, fending off hydric stress and seeking out spring water reserves in the substrata during the arid summers. At harvest, the entire growing season is captured in beautifully concentrated, small-cluster fruit, which yields just around 2 tons per acre.
Hand-picked grapes spend 25 days macerating in stainless steel tanks. Gentle pressing releases inky black juice, which is softened, and bolstered by the kind of gorgeous structure only afforded wines that are aged in barrels culled from the French forests of Taransaud.