Look for a post on the future of malbec on the North Fork soon. It's been a long time coming and this Martha Clara Vineyards 2007 Malbec ($24) is the last bit of inspiration I needed to finally write it.
Once a major component in the wines of Bordeaux, this large, fairly easy-to-ripen black grape is now best known in Argentina, where it is most often bottled varietally.
It’s also a big player (along with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot) in Meritage and
other blended red wines in the United States, Australia and South Africa.
That means that several of Long Island's wineries grow it for their Meritage-style reds, which often feature small amounts of malbec -- typically from 1 - 7%. It's rare to see it bottled on it's own, but based on those that are available Malbec's potential seems boundless on the North Fork.
But more on that soon. Let's get back to this wine.
The nose is rich, almost brooding in its dark fruit character that leans towards berry compote, showing ripe blueberry, blackberry and black plum fruit aromas mingling with subtle spice, violets, mint-menthol and an interesting woodsy earthiness.
Youthful on the palate, the blueberry compote character carries over with a bit more spice, some vanilla joining the party and earthiness that reminds me of black tea on the end of a medium-long finish. The tannins are still grippy, providing nice structure along with light acidity.
Producer: Martha Clara Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
Rating: (3.5 out of 5 | Very good-to-Delicious)