Writer's Block Malbec 2015

Malbec is popularly what Argentina has made it. Its viticultural history is closely associated with the Bordeaux area of France (Cahors as well) and the politics of international relations that brought it to Argentina as a gift of political goodwill. Having spent two harvests at Bodega Catena Zapata in Mendoza, I was afforded the opportunity to experience Malbec in its various forms and morphs there, from easy drinking juicy wines to wines made with the intent of ageability. Malbec itself is an experience in Argentina, grown throughout the country, though most significantly in the high elevation viticultural region of Mendoza, where Catena Zapata is found. In Bordeaux a small percentage of it may find its way into claret blends consisting of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, although Argentina is the country and Mendoza the region where its potential as a varietal bottling has been explored with much success.  Grafted from Cabernet Franc vines in 2002, the varietal shows itself here as having a good future as a minor grape of the area.   

Located in the Red Hills appellation of Lake County, this enormous vineyard consisting of mostly Bordeaux varietals was planted with the intent to produce ultra-premium varietal wines. While many of the grapes are purchased by wineries in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties, a small percentage of these grapes find there way into Lake County wineries. Grafted in 2002 to what were previously Cabernet Franc vines, this  vintage of Malbec at Steele shows much promise from this vineyard site.  Named Red Hills because of the color of the volcanic soil it is planted in, the vineyard follows a dramatic slope toward Clear Lake

USD $16.99


Lake County


Steele Wines



  • Malbec