The 2012 Restivo Silver Series Malbec is sourced from a vineyard (with up to 60 year old vines) in the Barrancas sub region of the Maipu Province inside the Mendoza grape growing area of Argentina. Mendoza is the heart of Argentina’s wine industry and is responsible 2/3 s of Argentina’s wine production. The Barrancas region rests at a slightly lower altitude than most of Maipu and is a little warmer and has less of a temperature differential between night and day. The Restivo Silver Series Malbec is one of Biagio Cru and Estate import brands and the Restivo family owns Biagio Cru, so they thought enough of this wine to put their own name on it. 30% of this Malbec was aged in American oak barrels and the remaining 70% was aged in huge concrete tanks (they call them ponds). The oaked and unoaked Malbec is blended together and bottled, then aged an additional 3 months in bottle before release. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a rich scarlet red with blue/black highlights. The nose is Black cherries and menthol, olives, plums and bitter dark chocolate. This a Malbec from Argentina, so therefore it is rich, with intense fruit, but here with the Silver Series Malbec there is excellent balance and a light touch to the flavors. It tastes of ripe black and blueberries, fudge brownies, tart cranberry and raspberry. The mid palate adds a little strawberry in cream, along with a dusty brush of tannins that give a slight tug to the back of your palate, nothing out of line, just enough to display some solid structure. There is a good line of acidity running under the fruit flavors and the acidity allows the rich fruit and cream finish to last a very respectable length of time.
I used to recommend whichever value priced Argentinean Malbec was on sale, the vast majority of the value Malbec’s on the shelves were very solid bottles. But, most of the wineries in Argentina were started and outfitted 17 years ago and many of the vineyards were replanted at the same time, so many of these producers were painting from the same palate. That is all changing now, regional variations in the grapes and individual winery styles are coming into their own. The Restivo Silver Series Malbec is not one of those interchangeable (but real good) Malbecs, it has the expected rich fruit and depth of flavor, but with a light touch and balance. There is an elegance exhibited that gives the Restivo the feel of a far more expensive Malbec. This is a Malbec that pair would pair well with the Thanksgiving meal, it has the balance and the structure to handle all the various dishes that go along with the turkey, without overpowering the more delicate flavors.