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2017 Malbec

2017 Malbec
2017 Malbec

2017 was a strange sort of vintage, in that it had quite a bit of hot weather, but come harvest time, the grapes were remarkably well balanced despite the extreme heat. This is possibly because the hot days were so hot that they caused the vines to go into heat dormancy, slowing ripening, while many of the remaining days were relatively moderate. This effect was noted over much of Washington and Oregon in this vintage. We harvested the Malbec on September 28 this year, which is about average for this vineyard. The Malbec benefits from hanging a bit longer than some of the other varieties in order to develop riper flavors, which means that it often needs a little tweaking in the winery to bring it back into balance. Not so in 2017. Eleven has been producing Malbec since 2005; I was looking for a variety to add to our portfolio, and one of our growers had some Malbec available, so I was considering that as an option. Then I received a mailing from the Washington Wine Growers Association addressed to “M. Albec”, a misspelling of my last name that I took as a sign that we should definitely make some Malbec.


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Varietal Composition100% Malbec
AppellationYakima Valley
VineyardSugarloaf Vineyard
Aging19 months in barrels; about 25% new American oak
FermentationSmall open-top fermentors, punched down by hand
Volume750 ml
Bottling Date05/30/2019
Cases Produced241
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