Tonight’s Occasion: 2016 Malbec (Private Reserve) by Cella Wines, Kingman, Arizona.
Clear intense color. Out of the bottle a fairly bold, aromatic nose dominated by ripe fruit, red berries, touch of honeysuckle. This creates a sweet cherry cola prominence. Faint herbal notes, eucalyptus comes to mind. Swirling vigorously, this bold fruit dissipates ever so slightly as a dusty rocky earth pulls forward.
Nose is a bit misleading. Body is like a medium to light, almost crisp. Bold ripe fruit characteristics are further accentuated by barely noticeable oak. Thin crisp unobtrusive tannins lend good structure. Herbal notes carry over but move further back. Faint barely noticeable banana peel, usually a play between ripe fruit and minerality. Body is somewhat restrained overall and quickly fades. A firm, white pepper emerges as it transitions to finish leaving the palate fairly dry and tingling with spice.
This is my first wine from Arizona! Since this lesser known region was brought to my attention, I have been wondering how it this possible? Just like Texas, specific terroir, topology and high altitudes have made this niche possible. This brings some serious hang time and it shows in the fruit expression. Coming from California, this wine shows more like a Grenache from the Sierra Foothills with even more intense fruit. It’s very interesting to see how various varietals express themselves in different regions. I very much look forward to seeing what owner/winemaker Micah does with his Estate Malbec in coming vintages. Thank you Micah and the crew at Cella Winery for sharing this with us!