2011 Bodega Mendel Malbec Mendoza
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright medium ruby. Musky cassis, plum and dark chocolate on the nose, lifted by minty and mineral nuances. Fine-grained and firm in the mouth, with a restrained sweetness to its black raspberry and smoky mineral flavors; conveys an impression of strong extract. Nicely integrated acidity extends the finish, which features chewy, ripe tannins and excellent lift. 90(+?) points.
Luján de Cuyo, at 1,000 m. 12 months in new French oak. Deep cherry crimson. Restrained dark fruit with a mineral/coal-like aroma I associate with the Douro and granite even though the soils here are sandy clay over stony gravel, and a light floral note. Creamy sweetness and spice of oak wraps around but does not overwhelm the fruit. Rich but not at all fat. Dry finesse to the tannins, just a hint of vanilla/chocolate on the finish, which is dry and leaves your mouth feeling clean. You could broach it now but it will benefit from longer in bottle. (JH)
Pure and racy, offering juicy acidity to the crushed raspberry, black cherry, woodsy spice and licorice notes. A touch candied, with dusty tannins marking the finish. Drink now.
This is a very different Mendel than the usual style. Pure, more red fruited than normal, with red plums and berry aromas leading the way. Flavors on the palate are juicy, lively and fresh, with a soft mouthfeel. While this is not the typically tightly structured, serious, slightly oaky Mendel style, it is very good wine - a wonderful followup to their 2010. (Joe Manekin, K&L South American wine buyer)