Charles & Charles Malbec Northridge Vineyard 2015
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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.
95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
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.
The inaugural release of our single-vineyard Malbec comes entirely from the Northridge Vineyard which is the highest elevation spot in the Wahluke Slope. We co-fermented a little Cabernet Sauvignon with the Malbec to add some complexity & structure, something that I have experimented with in Argentina over the years & loved the results of. The wine was fermented with native yeast, with limited punch downs & remained on the skins for 50 days. We aged the wine a full 24 months in barrel on its original lees in a mix of 1-3 year old medium toast French oak. We bottled the wine without fining or filtration, leaving the richness & intensity of the wine to speak for itself. With this reductive type of winemaking, when you pull the cork on this wine, it will be encountering oxygen for the first time since it was put in the fermenter late October 2015.
Varietal Composition: 77% Malbec, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon