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What our expert thought of Rutini, Trumpeter Reserve, Malbec




the tasting

The Tasting


In the glass this is only just deeper than a medium ruby, which is positively pale by Malbec standards.  I reckon the winemaker has been careful to limit the intensity of skin contact so as not to extract lots of tannin.  The wine does show Malbec’s typical purple tinge; it’s almost violet at the rim.
 
It has a lovely, lifted nose that even smells purple, thanks perhaps to a little floral note of violets.  The main impression is of dried herbs overlying dark fruits: mostly small berries – blueberry and blackberry – but also some dark plum and strawberry.
 
Apart from a little mint, I’m struggling to name the dried herbs, but they have an appealing pine-needle quality to them that’s rather Christmassy.  Complexity and depth are added by restrained, quality oak that’s more resin than vanilla, enhancing the pine needle herbiness to create a touch of the cedary cigar-box scent associated with fine Bordeaux.
 
In the mouth this juicy red is medium-bodied and surprisingly elegant: definitely not one of those thick, heavyweight Malbecs.  There’s no shortage of ripe blackberry and blueberry fruit, lightly spiced with clove and liquorice, but the wine remains dry and refreshing.
 
Silky-smooth tannins support the acidity in providing structure to the wine, though it took me a while to notice them.  The herby finish is juicy and mouthwatering, with acidity at first overpowering the tannins.  They reappear right at the end, so that the wine finishes dry.


Assessment


This is my sort of Malbec!  I’ve often found that I prefer cheaper Argentinian Malbecs over the more expensive ones, because the high-end, late-picked wines are unbalanced: too much alcohol, tannin and oak; not enough freshness.
 
Here we have a wine that’s been hand-picked from top vineyards, aged in expensive French oak, and vinified with as much care and attention as those heavyweight monsters, but made in a deliberately restrained and elegant style.
 
It’s just as easy to drink as the best of the cheapies, with very similar levels of alcohol, tannin and food-friendly acidity, but it has the compexity and depth of a top wine.  Above all it has superb balance: ripe and refreshing at the same time.



Tasting notes

Appearance
medium(+, just) ruby, distinct purple tinge, almost violet at rim
Nose

Intensity medium+

Aromas dried herbs (pine needle, mint), black fruit (blueberry, blackberry, plum, blackcurrant), red fruit (strawberry), floral (violets), oak (resin, vanilla), maturity (cigar box)

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness fully dry

Acidity medium+

Body medium

Tannins medium-, silky smooth, well-integrated

Intensity medium+

Flavours black fruit (blackberry, blueberry), spice (clove, liquorice)
Finish

Length medium

Flavours as palate, juicy, mouthwatering, herby. Ends dry.
Other notes
Fine, complex nose, smells Christmassy. Meaty reduction - decant. Great balance: ripeness without sweetness. Refreshing. Ready, but will keep.


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