Argentina Malbec under £10
Bodegas Santa Ana, La Mascota Malbec, Cruz de Piedra, Mendoza, Argentina 2009
This is Santa Ana’s second consecutive Regional Trophy and its chief winemaker Rodolfo “Opi” Sadler’s third. He is becoming sort of the prince of Argentinian varietals under £10 having won two Malbecs and one Sauvignon Blanc trophies. Since 1985 he has been making wines at Santa Ana, a winery in Mendoza that has been around for over 120 years.
Santa Ana is now part of the Grupo Peñaflor, which also owns other five wineries in different provinces including Trapiche (Mendoza), Finca Las Moras (San Juan) and El Esteco (Salta).
It should be pretty easy to figure out what “mascota” means in Spanish. Despite the obvious conclusion this range was not named after a winery’s pet. In fact Santa Ana’s first vineyard was named Mascota to humour the pet-like care with which the team treated its vines.
The Malbec for this wine comes from a parcel located in a small hill about a kilometer away from the Mendoza River. As pointed out by Sadler the notable thing about this parcel is that on top of getting the benefits from long sunshine hours and dry climate, it also gets the river’s cool winds. “The result is grapes with good freshness, fruit concentration and acidity.”
This wine is juicy and fresh packed with black fruits followed by a round and fleshy palate. It is made in a style that not only respects the unique character of this grape variety but also highlights the exciting future for Malbecs in this price category.