The Clayhouse Paso Robles Malbec 2014 is 90% Malbec, 5% Tannat, and 5% Petite Sirah sourced from Clayhouse’s sustainably farmed estate Red Cedar Vineyard in the Paso Robles AVA inside the Central Coast AVA of California. All of Clayhouse’s wines come from the Red Cedar Vineyard and the name Clayhouse refers to a 150 year old Adobe house (adobe bricks are made from clay) that is situated on the vineyard. This is a single vineyard, estate wine that is priced in a range normally populated with “Brand” wines (the list is $18, but I found it for $11.99, so shop around). Clayhouse is a property owned by Vintage Wine Estates who also produce B R Cohn, Cameron Hughes, and Middle Sister as well as many other brands. This Malbec was aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for 9 months and the alcohol content is a 13.5%.
The color is a barely see-thru raspberry jelly red. The nose is a little bit of smoke, a little vanilla, dark berries, oak spice, slightly herbal, and ripe plum. This is a dry, fruit-forward Malbec, that shows its structure and tannins. It starts with rich blackberry, dark chocolate, light spice, black cherry, and vanilla. The mid-palate adds slightly sour cherry, cocoa powder, and a late splash of blueberry. The tannins don’t bite, but they are in the mix and the acidity is balanced, pair with food or drink it on its own. The finish is full flavored and slowly fades.
Well, if you thought that well-priced quality Malbec only came from Argentina, then give Clayhouse Paso Robles Malbec 2014 a try. Argentina has pricing advantages over California, but you wouldn’t see that many single vineyard Malbec’s at this price coming out of Argentina. The Clayhouse has plush fruit and solid structure and is a very drinkable wine.