A Wine Worthy of Reflection: The 2017 Malbec
What’s called the Reflective Project showcases the Williamsburg Winery’s ability to embrace an entirely different style of winemaking a hemisphere away. On several levels, this distinctive vintage along with the 2018 Malbec celebrate collaboration, starting literally with two varying grapes an ocean apart.
These newly released reds blend the Malbec varietal from Argentina with Virginia’s most prominent grape, Petit Verdot.
Per the label, “Like the tango, this wine is sensual and intimate offering soft, yet full bodied aromatics and texture. Like the two dancers, there must be balance and finesse just as there is with the Reflective Malbec.”
The new-look packaging reflects the vibrant nature of the wine and incorporates Argentinean culture while alluding to the literal and figurative dance required to craft this limited production Malbec.
The story behind this wine dates back more than a decade when Williamsburg Winery winemaker Matthew Meyer was at the London International Wine Fair. The two were in conversation about the Williamsburg Winery experimenting with a new block of Malbec in its vineyards. Matthew grew intrigued after hearing writer Steven Spurrier of Decanter Magazine praise the new Argentine wine made with Malbec named Apogeo as the most elegant he had tasted. The wine was made at Gerardo Cartellone’s A16 Bodega, a boutique winery near Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina.
What started as an investigation to not only taste but learn more about Apogeo blossomed into a friendship among Meyer and his wife, Elena Barber, and Williamsburg Winery Founder Patrick Duffeler and his wife, Francoise.
The Duffelers hosted Cartellone at Wedmore Place, sharing a bottle of Apogeo. A visit to the Argentine winery followed for all four where it was decided that a limited edition of Malbec wines would be shipped to the Williamsburg Winery for retail sale.
During that visit, Cartellone surprised his guests following a traditional “asado” or authentic Argentinian barbecue. Per Patrick’s blog entry: “For dessert, Mr. Cartellone took us for a short walk and surprised us with the fact that he had named a couple rows of his Malbec vineyard in the name of Matthew and Elena as well as in Francoise’s and mine.”
Meyer dreamed of making a wine in Mendoza, the start of the “Reflective Project” between the Williamsburg Winery and A16. Every spring in Virginia, which is fall in Argentina, Meyer flies to Mendoza to taste and blend that year’s harvest and help with bottling previous vintages.
The 2015 and 2016 vintages are straight Malbec, but the 2017 and 2018 Reflective Malbec are unique thanks to the addition of Petit Verdot, which, in Meyer’s words, “makes this Malbec more unique and individual than the others.”