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SonVida Malbec is made from 95% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
SonVida Malbec is a single vineyard wine, the supreme expression of the award-winning zone of Altamira, in Argentina's Uco Valley. Altamira's smooth tannins shine through, and the combination of acidity and minerality lead the wine to a long, integrated finish.
"The wine is proud to be ripe and generous. Aromas dominated by smokey mulberry and blueberry. It's plush and coats the palate with bramble, blueberry and liquorice and the scent of vanilla. Immediately muscular and broad-shouldered in the glass, with a savory note, perhaps tapenade, running through the dense palate with mint and dried herbs on the finish. The oak will integrate over time, mixing its spice with the warm spice of fruit. - Joe Fattorini - The Wine Show"
Sunny Summer with moderate nighttime temperatures, followed by an early Fall.
Grapes come from the Mendoza region, in the Paraje Altamira area.
YIELD: 35 Hl/HA
MACERATION: Total 25 days, first cold-soaked 5 days, 14 days fermentation at 24° C, plus 7 additional days. No filtration.
SonVida Malbec can be enjoyed on its own, and matches perfectly with meats, chicken, turkey and hard cheeses. It is enjoyed best in good company. ‘Would you like another glass?’ The answer, almost always, is ‘yes’.
"Former diplomat and journalist David Smith doesn’t make much wine, alas, but the quality is extremely good indeed. Subtle, refreshing and marked by the chalky terroir of Paraje Altamira, it’s a nuanced, skilfully oaked Malbec with precision, focus and impressive palate length. 2020-25"
- Tim Atkin, Argentina Special Report 2018), 93 pts
"A gorgeously rustic, complex wine packed with blossom, dark fruits and Christmas spices. Rich and satisfyingly rounded with soft tannins."- Decanter World Wine Awards 2018, 93 pts - SILVER MEDAL
"The 2015 Malbec has an old-world style in its balance, elegance and smoothness but with the chalky texture of the Altamira soils. It's very harmonious and young, as classic as it gets, medium-bodied and very drinkable. It has developed some extra complexity in the bottle and comes through as complex and layered. Terrific right now. 4,800 bottles were filled in 2017. - Luis Gutiérrez" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 92 pts
Almost 20 years ago, Sonia and David went back-packing in the wine country of Northern California and fell in love with the idea of owning a vineyard.
SonVida is Sonia's life and David's dream. After an international career in television news for the BBC, ITN and CNN, Sonia began her adventure in wine. She is a Certified Sommelier of the Court of Master Sommeliers, and is studying for an international Wine MBA at the Bordeaux Ecole de Management, a grand ecole in France.
After a career as a foreign correspondent for Reuters and ITN, David is now a diplomat with the United Nations. David is also a Certified Sommelier of the Court of Master Sommeliers, and holds an Advanced Certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) of London.
SonVida is in the heart of Malbec country, the Valle de Uco, in a small area known as Altamira, close to the village of La Consulta. Their neighbors are Chandon, Catena, and Achaval Ferrer. Close by, sharing the valley, are O.Fournier, Clos de los Siete, Finca La Celia, and Lurton.
Their terroir is defined by the Andes. They are at 1,029 meters above sea level. Snow melts high in the mountains, and waters the vines. The earth is strewn with rounded pebbles, carried down the Andes over millennia, by streams and glaciers. The sun shines brightly 330 days a year. The cooling nighttime breezes help the grapes keep their freshness and mature with full flavors.
SonVida Malbec 2014 is made from 95% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
The most challenging of years yielded a great harvest, and a magnificent wine. Frost in September, just as our Malbec was in budbreak. Then a fierce Zonda wind in early November, just as the vineyard was flowering. The result? Yields low, BUT quality high.
SonVida Malbec 2013 celebrates intense fruit, plum, blackberry, even dark chocolate notes, with the optimal acidity and smooth tannins that are so typical of the award-winning Altamira district in the Uco Valley of Mendoza. Above all, this latest Malbec from the Alegira vineyard boasts rare balance - a hint of the Old World in the best of the New World.
Decanter World Wine Awards 2017, 90 pts
SonVida Alegria Red Blend is made from 60% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah.
We named our vineyard in the Andes of Argentina after our daughter Alegría. When we first saw the land, she was a baby in our arms. Now, as she goes to college, this wine celebrates her journey.
From a single vineyards, 1,029 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level near Paraje Altamira, Mendoza.
Age of the vines is 13 years (planted in 2002).
Aged 15 months in French and American Oak Barrel
Red meat, pork, grilled chicken.
Xavier Vignon, along with Philippe Cambie, are probably the two most highly renowned oenologists in Chateauneuf du Pape as well as some of the surrounding Cotes du Rhone regions. Vignon’s office and laboratory are next to the Auto Route A7, in the same complex as Chateau Husson. He is the consultant for such well-known domaines as Raymond Usseglio, Jerome Quiot, Beaurenard, La Nerthe, Mont Redon, Marcoux, Grand Veneur and La Gardine. I tasted through the new and upcoming Xavier Vignon releases. The blend of Xavier Vignon’s Chateauneuf du Pape can vary considerably. Vignon told me that it is a selection from nearly 120 different parcels in the appellation. Fashioned from the best fruit from old vines planted in the finest parcels is the Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme. Xavier Vignon is not going to release the 2007 Anonyme (his greatest Chateauneuf du Pape to date) until 2013 so readers have a chance of getting some of this production. I tasted three vintages of this cuvee with Vignon.
Review:The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape started out slightly reticent, yet blossomed with time in the glass. Cassis, leafy herbs, lead pencil/graphite and earthy notes all flow to a ripe, full-bodied, beautifully balanced 2015 that has sweet tannin. Made from 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah, aged in very old barrels, it’s a terrific base cuvée in 2015 that’s going to drink nicely for a decade. -Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec.
The color is deep dark ruby. limpid and brilliant. The nose is intense and complex with hints of blackberries, sweet spicies, noble plain chocolate and Vanilla. The palate is full bodied, very long with well integrated tannins. The finish is very fresh and luscious with toasted notes in the background.
Average age of the vines is 30 years.
Manual harvest from September 21th to October 7th 2015.
Upon arrival at the winery, only the best grapes were selected using a sorting table.
Skin contact maceration during 2 weeks in temperature controlled vats.
Aged 12 months in Oak barrels. (1/3 new oak, 1/3 1 year old and 1/3 two year old barrels). They use 60% French Oak and 40% American Oak.
Served with red meat (beef filet, sirloin), pork tenderloin, roasted duck breast with honey&orange sauce, roasted lamb with thyme, poultry and fine cheese.
"Based on 55% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Malbec, the 2015 Chateau Brule Secaille Grande Reserve Cotes de Bourg spent a year in 40% American oak, with one-third being new. Black fruits, spicy oak, underbrush, and cedar notes all emerge from this medium-bodied, nicely textured, balanced 2015 that has solid mid-palate depth and ample fruit. It’s a fleshy, charming effort that has loads of character."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 90 pts
All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.
Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030
All grapes used in producing their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.
"The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is open on the nose with a dusty blackberry and soft, ripe yet rustic core, having been blended with 12% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc. The full-bodied palate is structured and focused and it shows the vintage character well, with a broad, bold focus of black fruits, a rustic rigidity typical of Stellenbosch and elegant, soft garden herbs notes. The finish is structured and long. 4,773 bottles were made, bottled unfiltered and fermented using indigenous yeast. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 90+ pts
"Medium dark red. Finely perfumed of red and black currants with hints of dried spices. Silky mouth feel with impressive intensity of balanced fruit, cedar hints and lively acidity. More finesse than power in this elegantly styled wine. Sourced from a single, exposed parcel on top of the ridge with low yields. 14.5% alc."
- International Wine Review (January 2019), 91 pts
Ponzac Patiemment Cahors is made from 100% Malbec
Grown on soils of red (irony) clay and limestone, this ambitious Cahors is one of the best example of what can be achieved when working with high precision on the "Causse". It combines the ripeness and the fat of Malbec of the clay based soils and the purity in fruit of the limestone.
Dark color, almost black as it should be for a ripe and concentrated wine from Malbec. The nose shows notes of fresh black fruit (blackberries) and also some more candied fruit and orange peal. It has also a spicy dimension to it (cinnamon). The texture is dense and velvety but the wine remains crisp and tensed all the way to the finish. Great food wine it will match any grilled meat dishes.
"A step up both in quality and in price, the 2015 Cahors Patiemment is all Malbec, from clay and limestone soils, that was brought up mostly in tank, with 15% in oak. More balanced than the Maintenant release, with notes of blueberries, chocolate, crushed rocks, and hints of graphite, it’s medium to full-bodied, rounded, layered, and textured on the palate. It's a beautiful wine and I'd pay the uptick in price."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 91 pts
Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas is 100% Malbec
Ayni Gravas was created show the diversity of wine profiles that can be derived from Paraje Altamira’s terroir. The goal with this particular wine is to show a markedly calcareous profile that derives in a more intense black fruit flavor profile and a chalky tannin structure with great age potential, as opposed to the more feminine and elegant style which is typical from Paraje Altamira wines.
Chakana plans to further develop this wine, increasing its accents through vineyard selection and oak aging. Over time, production can potentially increase to 10,000 bottles (maximum).
Ayni Gravas is produced from smaller plots of a 20 hectare vineyard in Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Mendoza. Paraje Altamira is a Geographical Indication (IG) located on the alluvial cone of the Tunuyan River. The Ayni vineyard has been planted on virgin soils on the upper (south western) side of the cone. The vineyard is crossed by numerous smaller river beds that once formed the river delta, and these create a pattern of different soil depths and gravel formations, imparting very different characteristics on the wine. Ayni Gravas is produced only with the sections of the vineyard where the calcium carbonated gravels come to the surface and the vines grow amongst them with no soil. Only a smaller percentage of the vineyard (approximately 20%) features these conditions.
Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.
"Dark medium ruby. Enticing violet lift to the aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and licorice; wild but not excessively so. Juicy and fine-grained, with penetrating chalky minerality enlivening the flavors of crushed blackberry, flowers and spices. In a very savory, almost salty style, finishing dry and firm, with fresh, fine-grained tannins and lovely energy and length. (just 12.5% alcohol; from the same vineyard as the Ayni Vineyard Paraje Altamira but from a selection of soils) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2019), 91 pts
"There is a new 2017 Ayni Parcela Gravas, a selection of Malbec from their Ayni vineyard in Paraje Altamira from very shallow plots with a high content of limestone. The nature of the soils might have resulted in some stress in a warm and dry year like 2017, and the wine felt a bit ripe and with harsher tannins than the regular Ayni. For the rest, the production and élevage remained more or less the same. I look forward to seeing the results in a cooler year. For now, the tannins need a little bit of time in bottle. 3,000 bottles were filled in March 2019. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91 pts
Bonny Doon Old Telegram Mourvedre is made from 100 percent 100% Mourvedre.
Like the Rhone classic, it is produced from grapes which the label identifies as Mataro, an alias under which thick-skinned, late-ripening Mourvedre sometimes goes. From the nose, one scents licorice, blood(!) (make that very rare meat), blackberries (both berry and leaf), wet earth. There is a definite scent of beef bouillon, one of the absolute true signifiers of (proper) Mourvèdre. On the palate, the tannins are very plush and soft, almost a sense of sweetness (emphatically no R.S. in this), but with a really vibrant acidity and very great length. We somehow skirted the peril of over- ripeness and raisination, which is always a bit of a peril in the sunny climes of Antioch, CA. The wine is rich but also quite elegant at the same time.
Pairs with Wine-braised lamb shanks with herbes de Provence. Enoki mushroom tempura with soy-based dipping sauce. Hoisin-marinated chicken breasts served with wild & brown rice medley. Wild mushroom & thyme pizza. Pork shoulder. Beef short ribs.