The Septima Malbec 2014 is 100% Malbec sourced from Bodega Septima (founded 1999) vineyards in the Lujan de Cuyo district and particularly near the town of Agrelo in the Mendoza region of Argentina. The Lujan de Cuyo district is located in western Mendoza, high up in the foothills of the Andes and Agrelo is one of the highest altitude growing areas of Lujan de Cuyo. The 2014 vintage was one of the coolest in decades (temps rarely passed 60 degrees), the yields were down from earlier years but the long growing region helped the grapes fully develop. The vineyards in Mendoza are some of the highest altitude growing areas in the world, the grapes see plenty of intense sunlight and most grape pests and diseases can not thrive at this height. This Malbec was fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged for 6 months in 2 year old French and American oak barrels (French oak and American oak are two different species of oak tree, they have very dissimilar grain structure and impart unique flavors to the wine), then bottled and aged for an additional 3 months. The alcohol content is 14%.
The color is dark, barely see-thru black cherry red. The nose is blackberry jam, vanilla and oak spice. This is a dry, full-bodied, rich, but balanced Malbec. It starts with intense blackberry, slightly bitter dark chocolate and plum. The mid-palate shows blueberry, a little vanilla cream and black cherry. The tannins add good structure, but do not bite and the acidity is well-balanced by the body of the wine. The finish is full and long-lasting.
The Septima Malbec 2014 is a very grown-up, quality Malbec. Argentinean Malbec was always great bang-for-the buck wine, you got a delicious bottle of Red for a very nice price. There was a boom in the Argentinean wine business in the late 1990s and many of the wineries whose wines you see on store shelves came into being at that time. The vineyards were planted or updated at the same time and everyone bought state of the art equipment at the same time. The wine, while very good, all seemed to be variations on a theme. But that has changed, the vineyards have matured and the wine-makers have learned how to make the most out of their grapes. If you have not tried Malbec from Argentina lately, now is the time to dive back into them, you will be rewarded. The Septima Malbec 2014 has elegance and balance, delicious fruit flavors and solid structure, while still being a great value.