Charles & Charles Malbec Northridge Vineyard 2016
This incredibly focused Malbec leads with oodles of black fruit & spice layered over a present yet supple structure & a lingering thread of barrel toast & mocha. The blend this year is 77% Malbec & 23% Cabernet Sauvignon.
About 15, 000 years ago the Columbia Valley was flooded by a series of ice age floods that deposited silt & sand over the entire area. The sediments deposited by the floods now make up the area's present-day sandy & gravelly soils. These conditions are ideal for grapevines & fruit development & allow all our vineyards to be planted on their own roots. The northerly latitude means more sunlight during the growing months, which allows extended phenolic development, embodying unusual texture & naturally soft tannins. Large diurnal swings (30+ degrees on average between high & low temperatures). The Northridge vineyard, perched at the very highest point in the Wahluke slope is a magical spot. It has consistently delivered many of the highest scoring wines in Washington. The vines are of course planted to their own roots in fine alluvial sand that rests over ancient volcanic soils. A relatively high elevation (1200 ft.), cool temperatures in the spring & fall, & a good bit of snow in winter, combine to make the vineyard (and the wine) reminiscent of Mendoza, Argentina. Cabernet Sauvignon generally ripens a bit later than Malbec, so to ensure that they ripen at the same time we reduced the Cabernet Sauvignon crop to a tiny 1 ton/acre to advance it a bit.