Argentinian Wine - Tinto Negro
An exciting addition and our first venture into South America, Tinto Negro was created by old friends Jeff Mausbach and Alejandro Sejanovich who worked together for 15 years at the celebrated Bodega Catena Zapata in Lujan de Cayo. The fruit for these superb Malbecs comes from some of the best high altitude parcels in Mendoza, specifically focusing on the alluvial soils of the Uco Valley. Eschewing the excessive use of oak, these are complex, bright wines which display the intellectual approach of Sejanovich (one of Decanter's Top 10 South American wine-makers) and his rigorous approach to vineyard management and intimate knowledge of the varied terroirs of the region.
The range starts with their Mendoza Malbec which comes from plots of deep, clay-loam soils from 10 miles south of the city of Mendoza at elevations of up to 3,300m. Expressing bright red fruit aromas with a soft, supple texture and a spicy finish, this is a versatile wine that works well with grilled red meat and rich, tomato-based sauces.
The 'Limestone Block' Malbec, comes from limestone rich, rocky soils in the Los Chacayes district of the Uco Valley. Co-fermented with 10-12% Cabernet Franc, it is complex with a delicate floral bouquet, a concentrated pallet of plummy black fruit, well-integrated tannins and a saline minerality on the finish. An aged rib-eye or rump steak, cooked medium-rare, would be an ideal iron-rich accompaniment.
Completing the range is the single vineyard 'Finca La Escuela' Malbec. Situated at 4,000 metres above sea level, the vineyard has a unique soil profile with 4 distinct soil types: silt, stone, gravel and sand. In order to maximise the potential of each plot, grapes are harvested at 10 different dates over 3 weeks. This meticulous approach and the intricate patchwork of soils result in a wine of considerable complexity with lifted red fruit aromatics and a palate showing impressive density and concentration, balanced beautifully by high-altitude acidity. Approachable from release (if decanted), it will cellar well for a decade.