2009 Fabre Montmayou "Pretty" Malbec

Posted by Chrish Peel on 5/23/2012 to Wine Reviews (All)
This would be our “yardstick” red, the wine against which we measure all others…except none would measure up. Nowhere but in Argentina – and really nowhere but at Fabre – can we find a wine of such supreme quality for such a reasonable price. 

Just imagine what a wine like this would cost in Napa…or better yet, Bordeaux (where these ancient, ungrafted Malbec wines originated – and where they, rather than Cabernet, made the Lafites and Latours of old). 

101-year-old, densely planted (a rarity here) vines, cropped at half the level of a Bordeaux First Growth, double-sorted and then further concentrated through a 25% saignee, pressed in a more gentle, traditional press (again, a rarity in Argentina – where heavy extraction is the order of the day), aged in 100% top-quality new French oak, egg-white fined and bottled unfiltered…in other words, coddled as much as any wine at any price ANYWHERE. 

Forget what this would cost in Napa or Bordeaux…no other top Argentine producer but Fabre offers this level of Malbec for less than $100…and some now charge over $200 for the top Malbecs from their oldest vines.

What’s more, compared to this incredibly rich yet still “pretty” wine, all the new $100 to $200 Malbecs (and there are tons of them now) come across as strivers, parvenus, nouveau riche – they’re too extracted, too oaky, too alcoholic and just too showy. This one is the real deal. It wears its considerable wealth (of fruit, power, concentration) comfortably. It stuns you with its beauty…not by knocking you over the head.

It’s also Fabre’s rarest wine – so limited they don’t list it on their website or price list. In fact, we inquired about it three times before the importer or winery admitted they had any. Which is fine – as we’re now the only place in the World to buy it! 

Herve Fabre, by the way, was the first in Argentina to offer a pure varietal Malbec. He was recently named “Argentina’s Best Winemaker” by a panel of British MWs, and has won awards for “Best Argentine Red,” “Best Argentine Red Blend,” and “Best Malbec in the World” there. He was also, naturally, the first to export an Argentine Malbec to Bordeaux – and the first to win awards for his Malbec in Bordeaux. 

Everything he makes is at least good wine and always great value. But this is the jewel in Fabre’s crown…and the most truly special wine in Argentina. 

Quite simply put, we can’t find another wine that offers all that this one does (richness, power, old-vine concentration, elegance, seamlessness and class – all at the highest level) at a price like this. Such wines just don’t exist…except here.

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