Wine Review: Zolo Malbec 2019
Producer: Fincas Patagonicas
Region: Agrelo and Alto Agrelo vineyards, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
Zolo’s Malbec embodies the spirit of classic, passion-driven Argentinean Malbec. From the sustainable practices and family-operated winery to the terroir-focused wines, Zolo’s Malbec provides great insight into the heart and tradition of Argentinean wine. Zolo was started by former kidney doctor, Patricia Ortiz, who also owns the Tapiz and Wapisa wineries in Mendoza and Patagonia. She has put together an excellent winemaking team led by Fabián Valenzuela, an Argentinean native who has over 30 years of winemaking experience, and French winemaker, Jean Claude Berrouet, who is famous for having led and directed the winemaking at the prestigious Petrus. With their expertise, their respect, and their understanding of the environment around them, Zolo has crafted a delicious, elegant Malbec that embodies the terroir, passion, and everything great about wine.
Mendoza is the heart of Argentinean Malbec and the epicenter of the varietal as a whole today. Zolo’s Malbec can be traced back to specific farms of specific vineyards in Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo. They range from 2,624 ft (800m) to 3,773 ft (1,050m) These vineyards contain a variety of soil types, slopes, and natural irrigation from the Mendoza River. Just to further highlight the passion and authenticity of the Zolo Winery, so much can be said about how transparent and open they are. Not only has it become increasingly difficult to find affordable passion and terroir-driven wine, but it’s also even harder to find wineries that are so open about their vineyards, winemaking practices, and other important information. They provide a wealth of information on their website and their American importer’s website detailing this and much more.
Nose & Tongue
To me, Zolo’s Malbec represents everything a traditional Argentinean Malbec should be. It has balance, elegance, fruit, and the perfect amount of oak. As a disclaimer, there’s nothing wrong with an oakier Malbec, as they can be just as tasty and have their place.
Initially, this bottle gives off vibrant aromas of cherry with an undertone of peppery spices and general oak notes. These develop and further balance out as the wine aerates. On the tongue, there is more earthy notes than expected, but they are very welcomed. These are accompanied by red fruits, pepper, and slight velvety oak. This Malbec has a very balanced medium body that gives just a slight creamy mouthfeel.
This bottle is perfect for a tasty, great quality Argentinean Malbec that reflects the terroir of its grapes and the regions’ histories. Ranging from $14-$18, it provides an excellent value as well. To end on a fun, somewhat personal fact, I was inspired to try this particular bottle after finding out the importer, Vino Del Sol, is based in my home state of Mississippi.