The Global Masters Wine of the Week: Viña Doña Paula El Alto Parcel 2014
Every week, we select a wine that picked up either a Gold or Master from our competition series, and tell you why the judges loved it. Enter the Global Masters, and this could be your wine.
“I’m often asked what comes after Malbec? And my answer is more Malbec, but better Malbec”, said Tim Atkin MW, speaking to 41 MWs as they embarked on a grand tour of Argentina last year.
Argentine wineries have achieved immense success in a relatively short space of time, thanks largely to a particular American wine critic and his penchant for unashamed, bold, deep reds.
But now Mendoza’s industry has reached adolescence, and with that comes some break from tradition. Now that estates have proved their wines can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those from France and Italy, oenologists and winemakers are digging deeper into their own country’s terroir and planting at higher altitudes to carve out an identity of their own, and they’re picking up some serious accolades along the way.
One such winery is Doña Paula, which scooped a Gold in our 2018 Malbec Masters with this single vineyard expression from the 2014 vintage. With a vineyard planted in 1969, this wine has its origin in our Finca El Alto, located at 1,000 meters above sea level in the Ugarteche sub-region of Luján de Cuyo.
Combining a mild climate, higher altitude, cool nights and clay soil results in a wine that is a little fresher than its predecessors.
The judges were impressed with the El Alto Parcel’s “inviting nose”, with raspberry, blackberry and even some violet present. On the palate those fruits shone through, supported by layers of oak and balsamic notes, with firm tannins to boot.
When you think of Argentinian Malbec, steak is often the first thing that comes to mind, but this wine’s sharp fruit and acidity are made for cutting through a pork tenderloin and some summer veg.
Mind you, if you do decide to age this wine and let those fruity notes become more concentrated in a few years, a rib-eye would also fit the bill.
The wine: Viña Doña Paula El Alto Parcel 2014
The source: Mendoza, Argentina (Luján de Cuyo)
The grape(s): 100% Malbec
The style: A single vineyard, oaked red
The price: Around £60
The medal: Gold – The Malbec Masters, 2018
With high-quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Wine Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known corners of the New World.
It’s a competition dedicated to making winners out of winemakers.
You can read more about the latest trends in Argentina’s wine scene in the August issue of the drinks business magazine, or find the full results from our 2018 Malbec Masters here.