Viña Cobos Mendoza
This is a parnership between California winery owner and roving consultant Paul HOBBS and the Argentine husband and wife viticulture/winemaking team of Luis Barraud and Andrea Marchiori. The Marchiori family vineyard, located in the high altitude Perdriel area of Upper Mendoza is the source for the wines. There is an impressive holding of old Malbec between 50 and over 80 years of age. Three labels are released, including the good value Nativo Collection wines, the pricier Bramare label as well as the super-premium Cobos. While not exactly boutique in size production is small by South American standards. Three red Felino examples are produced. Merlot is ripe and plummy, Cabernet Sauvignon is supple, and marked by dark cherry fruit, while the vibrant dark berry-fruited Malbec is the best of the three. All get a 3-4 day cold-soak and are aged in French and American oak for 9 months and bottled with neither fining nor filtration. While reds dominate here there are a few hundred cases of a very respectable Chardonnay under the superior and much pricier Bramare Marchiori Vineyard label and this has been joined by a Felino example as well. Rich, nutty and leesy with real breadth the Bramare is barrel-fermented with natural yeasts in 50% new wood, very much in the Hobbs Sonoma mould. There is only a tiny amount of Bramare Cabernet Sauvignon produced but a bit more of a dark, spicy Malbec. Both are aged in a mix of mainly French and some American oak. The Marchiori Vineyard is also now an additional source of Malbec and Cabernet. The top wine, Cobos is one of, if not the most expensive in Argentina but is a magnificent full, rich and immensely concentrated old-vine Malbec of real depth and impressive structure. This and the other two Bramare reds will develop well in bottle but show very well young if you enjoy big, fleshy and opulent reds. (DM)
To find out more about Viña Cobos and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Regional Guide to South America..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines Merlot, the two Cabernets, Carmenère and Syrah. (DM)