Don David Malbec Reserve and El Esteco Malbec are often thought as the same wine but they are very different.
Despite the fact that these two wines are soon to be lost to the shores of the UK it is still worth knowing the difference between them as they are often thought to be the same wine.
Bodegas El Esteco which was founded in 1892 is one of the oldest family owned wineries in Argentina. It is based in the Salta’s Calchaqui Valley in the most northerly wine producing region. They are known in the UK as Michel Torino Wines and there is a large range available with many different varietals. This range is soon to be removed from the UK market so it is wise to be aware of this fact. Torino wines have produced Malbec’s of many different qualities and names but none gets more confusion than these two Malbec.
The Don David Malbec Reserve is aged in oak barrels for 12 months and has a lively red colour with violet notes, red berries and plums in the aromas. The taste is full of toasted and vanilla flavours with an aftertaste of ripe tannins. Don David Malbec has a superb reputation in the UK on and off trade scene and is regularly seen on wine lists in discerning restaurants.
The main differences between these wines is in the Vinification methods which I will detail below each wine.
The winemaker’s goal is to produce elegant and complex wines in the range. The first work is in the vineyards to obtain concentration and balance using vines older than 20 years. The harvest is manual, putting clusters in small 22kg boxes. In the winery the must is produced using just first press juice.70% of the wines is aged in small barrels of both American and French oak for 12 months. 100% of the wine goes through malolactic fermentation spontaneously.
The El Esteco Malbec is from the same grower and region as the Don David but has more enhanced varietal characteristics. These combined with the intense dark colour and rich flavours really show how the high altitude can contribute towards making a superb wine. The tasting notes are of raisins, coffee and light herbaceous notes conquer the nose, the palate is mature and vibrant notes combined with firm and sweet tannins.
The difference in Vinficiation of the Elk Esteco Malbec starts with hand harvesting, bunch selection, destemming and berry selection. Fermentation and maceration for over 25 days and natural malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 12 months in French oak with a selection of barrels and it will then spend an average of 6 months in the bottle.
So the next time you are searching for the El Esteco Malbec make sure you are buying the correct one, especially as they will all be sold out very shortly in the UK