Zemlia Himno Malbec 2009, Mendoza, Argentina

I had the pleasure of trying 170+ wines during 5 or so days of intense tasting in Argentina, and yes it did tire my taste buds and cloud my memory as to particular tastes for each of those wines.  This wine is one of the very best of the wines I was offered and easy to recall the sensation of tasting it.  The 2009 Zemlia Himno Malbec is a small batch wine, only about 2000 bottles (not cases) were produced.  Nothing but the very best grapes and wine making went into those 2000 bottles.  85% Malbec with Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Bonarda rounding out the balance.  In fact, I am tempted to say the fruit was in heat rather than ripe!

The cherries and the berries are bursting with juice and ready please on the nose and in the mouth.   The blended varieties bring a wonderful depth and broad range to the senses.  Caramel, floral notes, vanilla all deliver oomph to the chorus.

Above and beyond the smell and taste, this wine scores top marks for texture and mouthfeel.  Sometimes big-oaked Malbecs can give you the feeling you are licking a rough Popsicle stick, but this concoction is more than refined, it is liquid silk.

Despite the fact that virtually nobody reading this will be able to purchase one of those 2000 bottles, I am giving this Platinum Record award!  Hopefully they will be able to meet higher production numbers with the same quality in future batches.

Musical Match: From the days when Oasis was crunching out a high production values of hits, Slide Away remained somewhat obscure.  Big. Juicy. Hooky.  Intense. Real.  Gulp this wine, enjoy letting this bottle slide away slowly….  This song came out on the album before Wonderwall, Don’t Look Back In Anger and Champagne Supernova became smash hits. I think with quality like the 2009 Himno, big hits are just around the corner for Zemlia.

Special thanks to the Wines of Argentina for providing me transportation, great lodging, amazing food and access to the wonderful wine and winemakers of Mendoza and Cafayate during a promotional tour of Argentina for 10 days in July 2011. This wine was sampled during that promotional tour.

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