Tentadora 2017 Malbec Valle de Cafayate


by William Knuttel Imports

Winemaker William Knuttel first visited Cafayate six years ago, and was immediately entranced with the area and its people, culture, and climate. The town is nestled in the Calchaqui Valley at over 5000’ elevation in the foothills of the Andes. This area of high mountain desert has the feel of Napa Valley plunked down into Zion Canyon National Park. Vineyards seemingly grow in nothing but rock and sand, surrounded by towering mountains of red rock and granite.

While Argentina is recognized mostly for the wines of Mendoza to the south, the smaller Cafayate region is rapidly gaining favor—after over 100 years of grape growing! Knuttel believes the region will eventually compare to Mendoza much like Napa Valley does to Sonoma County, and a frenzy of land purchases and winery construction in the last few years seems to be bearing out this prediction.

The secret is out that most of the great Torrontes in Argentina is sourced from Cafayate, but recently the region’s robust and balanced Malbecs have been attracting the most attention. After his previous experiences at Chalk Hill Estate, which included extensive experiments focusing on Malbec clones, pruning techniques, and winemaking styles, William Knuttel could not resist temptation in Cafayate! Hence, Tentadora, “the temptress,” materialized from some of the finest Malbec vineyards Knuttel had ever seen, adjacent to those of the most famous of Cafayate’s Malbecs, San Pedro de Yacochuya, one of Michel Roland’s projects.

The 2017 Tentadora Malbec features a blueberry and blackberry mélange with notes of spice and earth, and a smooth succulent core of fruit that broadens into a velvety finish. The color is inky black, and soft and well-resolved tannins are seamlessly integrated into the finish. In true Argentine fashion, the 2017 Tentadora Malbec is eminently suited to the table, and pairs especially well with roasted meats--and all the better if the meats are grilled at an asado, or Argentinestyle barbecue.

Knuttel's philosophy has long been to make an enormous range of wines in various styles in any given vintage, for the simple reason that a winemaker only gets to make a limited number of vintages over his lifetime. This wealth of experience has led directly to his adherence to traditional winemaking practices, which lead to balanced, elegant wines that pair well with foods and have excellent aging potential—the hallmarks of classic wine.

Collections: Southern Hemisphere, Wine

Type: WINE

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