The 2011 Sottano Cielo y Tierra (translates to Heaven and Earth) Malbec is 100% Malbec sourced from vineyards in the Maipu and San Rafael grape growing regions of the Mendoza Province in Argentina. The Sottano family has been making wine since 1890, but their current winery, Bodega Sottana, was founded in 2004. This is a young Malbec, it was aged 6 months in stainless steel and sees no oak aging. Young wines are a European style of wine, though you do see “naked” wines produced in the US, but young wines are everyday wines that are produced simply and are usually value priced. The grapes used in young wines are not the most complex grapes in the vineyard, but the grapes have to be good enough to stand on their own, they don’t add Merlot or Petite Sirah to cover up any flaws. Bodegas Sottano says this Malbec can be cellared for 2 years, so this is definitely a “drink it now” wine and the alcohol content is 13.2%.
The color is an opaque black plum red. The nose is soft, flashes of red fruit with a mild slap of spice. This is no “fruit bomb” it shows excellent balance. It tastes of black cherry, plum, licorice and casisis. The mid palate brings silky tannins and softer, slightly tart strawberry. The acidity is balanced and gives the wine a bright shiny edge, this is a Malbec that would pair very well with a juicy cheeseburger. The finish is subdued but lasts a respectable length of time.
The Sottano Cielo y Tierra Malbec is a different take on the usual value priced (I found this one for $7.99) Malbec you see on the store shelves. Most of the under $10 Malbecs see some sort of oak aging, either barrels or oak chips tossed into the stainless tanks, giving those wines a different flavor and tannin profile. The Sottano Cielo y Tierra Malbec is well made and well priced.