Friends, we do a brief jaunt down to Argentina today. While it is hotter than Hades down there, we continue to bask in the winter doldrums drenched in rain and sun deprivation. Great Malbec seems like the perfect remedy for this time of year. One of the outstanding producers of Argentinian Malbec, Viňa Cobos is the brainchild of famed winemaker and producer, Paul Hobbs. It is hard to believe that this great estate was started twenty years ago. Paul saw great potential for creating world-class Malbec and sought to develop vineyard sites in the Luján de Cuyo and Valle de Uco of Mendoza. He was met with great critical acclaim since his first vintage in 1999. Paul found some special, high elevation sites in both growing regions from 800 m (2,624 ft) and 1,100 m (3,308 ft) above sea level in the Luján de Cuyo to 900 m (2,952 ft) to 1,400 m (4,593 ft) above sea level in the Valle de Uco.
The top wine that I sampled was sourced from the Marchiori Estate, set at over 3,000 feet. The estate is planted to a host of varietals including Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Malbec vines at this estate are more than 80 years of age. I was absolutely blown away with the 2015 Viňa Cobos ‘Cobos Marchiori Estate’ Malbec (WWB, 98) which is the best Malbec from Argentina that I have ever sampled. This wine had such incredible fruit weight and concentration while maintaining marvelous poise and acidity. Quite simply, this wine has everything you want in a stellar Argentinian Malbec. While I have never visited this storied estate I can’t wait to visit and see this dramatic mountainous setting. I am sure the photos do not do justice to its beauty.
2015 Viňa Cobos ‘Bramare Rebon Estate’ Malbec- The ‘Rebon Estate’ by Viňa Cobos is a sensational wine sourced from the Valle de Uco. The vineyard is set at more than 3,000 feet above sea level and is set on sandy loam soils with a lighter small pebble influence. The nose shows ripe red currant jelly, blackberry cobbler, mocha and spice box aromas that fill the glass. On the mouth there is a voluptuous mouthfeel and silky texture. There is a wonderful purity of fruit here. Black Forest cake, cigar ash, creme de cassis and dark chocolate flavors all connect beautifully in the glass. Forward and intense, this is a simply stunning wine that is drinking marvelously now, but can be enjoyed over the next ten to fifteen years. Drink 2019-2033- 94
2015 Viňa Cobos ‘Bramare Chanares Estate’ Malbec-The ‘Chanares Estate’ Malbec is located in the Los Árboles, Tunuyán appellation in the Valle de Uco. Vines are planted at nearly 4,000 feet on alluvial and sandy loam soils. A glass-staining purple color, this starts off with intense aromas of black tea, licorice, creme de cassis and mocha. The palate shows a nice salinity and rich mouthfeel with gobs of tension. Light tannins frame black tea, Asian spice, creme de cassis and loganberry preserve flavors with a touch of milk chocolate. Gorgeous now, this will continue to evolve over the next ten plus years. Drink 2019-2030- 93
2015 Viňa Cobos ‘Cobos’ Marchiori Estate’ Malbec- The ‘Marchiori Esate’ by Viňa Cobos is sourced from the Marchiori Vineyard and is planted to 18-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted at 3,270 feet (996 meters) and Malbec vines over 80 years old, planted at 3,264 feet. The ultra-concentrated wine is simply magical right now and starts off with anise, Black Forest cake, blueberry cordial, Asian spice and creme de cassis. The palate is dense and decadent, showing intense fruit weight and viscosity that is downright mesmerizing. Blueberry compote, dark chocolate covered espresso bean, exotic spice, violets and blackberry cobbler flavors all marvelously come together in the glass. A true heavyhitter, the ‘Marchiori Estate’ Malbec by Viňa Cobos s is the best wine out of Argentina that I have ever sampled. While glorious now following a one hour decant, this incredible wine will continue to evolve well for the next two decades. Drink 2019-2040- 98