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Chakana Estate Selection

Malbec,
 2018

$26.99 $24.49/bottle

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Description

Chakana is one of the leading projects among the new generation of winemakers dedicated to the discovery and expression of the Andean diversity of climate and soils

Variety: Malbec
Region:  Uco Valley, Argentina
Winemaker: Chakana Wines
Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 14.0%

Winemaker's Notes

The color is deep purple, very intense, typical of Malbec. Plum, brambly berries, spices and an iris/violet note are apparent on the nose. Intense, fruity flavors with velvety tannins

John's Notes

Balanced and enjoyable, this blend of Malbec grapes from different altitudes creates a wine with an expressive mix of concentrated red and black fruit (purple plum, blackberry, red and black cherry) wrapped around supple Medium+ intensity tannins, notes of vanilla bean, mocha, toasted almonds, and cured meat. Pairs deliciously with beef short ribs

Nerdy Details

Winemaker: Chakana Wines, winemaker Gabriel Bloise

  • Founded Juan Pelizzatti in 2002, Chakana is a family-owned winery located 960 meters (3,149 feet) above sea level at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Agrelo, Mendoza
  • Chakana is the name of the Southern Cross constellation. Its rotation in the sky throughout the year made it an effective agricultural calendar for the ancient Andean people
  • The “yaguarete” (jaguar) on the label was known by the ancient Andean people as the “lord of the starred night”; the wildest known animal

Variety:  100% Malbec

Region: Uco Valley, Argentina

Climate/Vintage:

  • Defined by altitude more than latitude, the Andes mountains shield Argentina’s wine regions from the cooling influences of the Pacific Ocean. As such, the vineyards are planted at elevations up to 2000 meters and beyond as a means to protect against the searing heat
  • Since the Andes’ rain shadow also significantly limits rainfall, irrigation is critical, and water is typically drawn from the mountain’s rivers or subterranean aquifers
  • The cool nighttime temperatures in the Uco Valley help the grapes retain acidity and fresh fruit flavors

Viticulture:

  • Chakana is committed to biodynamic and organic viticulture & preserving the true character of the soils & region
  • Estate Malbec is from Chakana’s Altamira (3,200 ft elevation) and Gualtallary (5,500 ft elevation) vineyards
  • Soil: sandy loam with calcareous gravels

Winemaking: 

  • Higher quality fruit demands minimum intervention in the winery to create truly enjoyable wines that challenge the established criteria of manipulation: spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts, natural acidity, minimum or no sulphur, locally adapted varieties, no clarification nor filtration all preserve the identity
  • Aged for 12 months in 70% new & used French oak barrels, and 30% in concrete vats

Alcohol:  14.0%

Pairs Well With:  Roast duck, oven-fired pizza, beef short ribs

Reviews

  • Tim Atkin (93): Dominated by grapes from Gualtallary and Los Chacayes, with 15% from Paraje Altamira, this is like a version of the Uco Valley’s greatest hits. Effortlessly combined by Gabriel Bloise, it’s a classic expression of a very smart vintage, with just 10% new wood and layers of fresh, bright, chalky blackberry and blueberry fruit.   March 2020
  • Tasting Panel (93): Sourced from elevations over 5,000 feet, this wonderfully expressive, impressive red is aged in new and used French oak (70%) and concrete vats (30%) for 12 months. Black cherry and bloody grilled meat meet high acidity that highlights a thread of graphite and subtly integrated black pepper. A powerhouse with excellent drinkability
  • Vinous Media (91): A Malbec combining grapes from Paraje Altamira, Los Chacayes and Gualtallary that spent 10 months in concrete and European oak barrels with no filtration and minimal added sulfites. An expressively fruity profile combines traces of ripe blueberry with fresh sour cherry and a hint of wood and jam. Complex in the mouth, it delivers chalky but gentle tannins with accomplished volume and freshness. An extreme take on Uco Valley Malbec.  Joaquín Hidalgo
  • Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (90): The juicy, aromatic and fruit-driven 2018 Inkarri Winemaker’s Selection Malbec felt like pure grape juice, with unnoticeable oak after ten months in 3,000 and 5,000-liter oak vats. It’s floral, soft and approachable, clean and pure, not terribly complex but very pleasant
  • James Suckling (90): Crushed plums, mulberries and waxberries with a herbal undertone. Very lifted acidity with crunchy black cherries on the palate, yet it ends somewhat abruptly. A little steely

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