Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lenndevours at It Again - Reviews Raphael Malbec for Appellation America

Lenn Thompson at Lenndevours is, as you already know, one of my favorite bloggers. Read his most recent review of Raphael 2004 Malbec (North Fork of Long Island). Dom and I are big Raphael fans. Enjoy!And thanks Lenn!

Appellation America, Reviewed October 27, 2006 by Lenn Thompson.

Don't cry for me Argentina… Long Island?

Yes, there is Malbec growing on Long Island -- and probably more than you realize.

Once a major component in the wines of Bordeaux, this large, fairly easy-to-ripen black grape is now best known in Argentina, where it is most often bottled alone. It’s also a big player (along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot) in Meritage and other blended red wines in the US, Australia and South Africa.

So it only makes sense that many of Long Island's Meritage-style reds feature small amounts of Malbec -- typically from 1 - 7%. However, it's rare to see a varietal bottling that is all -- or mostly -- Malbec. But, in a game of vino role reversal, this bottling from Raphael is 95% Malbec with just a little (5%) Merlot blended in.

Winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich describes the 2004 vintage as a "return to normal growing conditions" on the North Fork. The summer was rather dry, but somewhat cool, which makes it somewhat "similar to the wines made in 2000." This is the second time that Raphael has bottled a Malbec and it's only available through the Raphael Reserve Club, their wine club. Only 75 cases were made.

Read the rest at: