– 2018 PULENTA LA FLOR MALBEC –
Like the rest of the world, we are slowly getting cabin fever, not being able to travel. Therefore, we have decided to “travel” a bit further across the globe for this Wine Wednesday! We’re taking you to South America, Argentina to be precise. Besides football and the tango, this Latin country produces some of the most beautiful wines in the world, including this week’s Cellar Pick of the Week.
Cellar Pick of the Week: 2018 Pulenta La Flor
Origin: Mendoza Argentina
Grape varietal: Malbec
Mendoza lies the heart of Argentina’s wine country. Home to more than 1,200 wineries, Mendoza produces nearly two-thirds of all of Argentina’s wine. Resting in the foothills of the Andes, the Mendoza wine region stretches more than 350,000 acres across the province. Thanks to its high altitude and its long hours of sunshine, the conditions in Mendoza are ideal for growing grapes rich in flavour and colour, especially the Malbec grape.
Right in the heart of Mendoza, we travel to Luján de Cuyo to find Pulenta Estate. Even though Pulenta Estate wasn’t officially founded till 2002, the Pulenta Family had been making wines for 100 years before that.
“ Making great wine is an act of generosity, always considering the one who will taste it. Our mission is to produce a limited series of great wine proudly made in Argentina.“Eduardo & Diego Pulenta
Malbec was always an underdog until it found a home in Argentina — becoming popular from the late 1990s onwards — and more recently, in Australia. In fact, in French the name of this thin-skinned, dark-purple grape is derived from the term ‘mal bouche’, meaning ’bad mouth’, which says enough.
Today, roughly 75 % of the Malbec in the world is planted in Argentina – the violet, richly tannic grape thrives there thanks to high altitude, vibrant sunshine and rich alluvial soil. The dominant flavour profile of Malbec from this region is smooth, smokey and jammy blackberry-infused with undertones of chocolate and cocoa powder.
This also counts for the La Flor. Even though the wine is made from 100% malbec grapes, the grapes come from two different vineyards: Finca La Zulema in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo and Viñedos Don Antonio in Los Árboles, Tunuyán.
The grapes were harvested by hand around May 2018 before vinification took place. After pre-fermentative maceration, alcoholic fermentation and spontaneous malolactic fermentation, the wine was ages for 4 to 6 months in second and third-use oak barrels.
In colour, it is a bright purple, with an aroma full of fresh red fruits and light floral notes, accompanied by delicate hints of vanilla from the oak aging. On the palate, it is round, with a good character, remarkable structure and soft, gentle tannins.
This wine goes perfect with red meats and smokey flavours. Need inspiration on what to cook with this wine? The La Flor is currently available with “The Food of Argentina” cookbook for Fathers Day.