Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ladera Howell Mountain Malbec 2006

Ladera Howell Mountain Malbec 2006

We discovered and acquired this wine during our visit to the winery back in 2008. Ladera specialize in Bordeaux varietal wines, most notably Cabernet Sauvignon, but they also offer this lesser known, more obscure Malbec varietal based wine. In Bordeaux Malbec is blended to introduce dark color and full body into the wine.

The Malbec grape is a thin-skinned grape that requires more sun and heat than the leading Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to mature. Hence it is well suited to the more consistent, warm and sunny climate of Napa Valley. It is used in the blend to introduce deep color, full body associated with ample tannin, and a fruity plum-like flavor to add complexity to Bordeaux based blends.

We took this to Angeli's, our favorite local Italian trattoria, BYOB for a mid-week dinner.

Tonights tasting was consistent with an earlier tasting note when I wrote, "Dark color - full bodied - full firm forward fruits - a bit flabby on opening but overcame the funkiness to reveal black berry and cherry fruit flavors, a layer of spice, hints of leather and a touch of cedar on a long finish." This was a good complement to our hearty Italian fare.

RM 90 points.