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 2021 Malbec

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2021 Malbec

 2021 Malbec
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Tasting Notes

Our 2021 Malbec displays a deep, ink-like purple hue and entices the senses with captivating aromas of elderberry and blackberry. The dark berry profile takes center stage on the palate, accompanied by secondary flavors of juniper berry, black truffles, and a hint of sweet tobacco. This medley of flavors culminates with a smooth, silky texture and graceful, enduring finish.

Vineyard Designation

100% Estate Grown

Vintage Notes

The 2021 vintage will be recorded as one the warmest in Washington State history. Characterized by a mild winter and a warm spring, bud break occurred in the second week of April, a week or two earlier than usual. Then we experienced a heat wave in late June that lasted roughly six weeks with over 35 days of 100°+ temperatures and some daily highs nearing 118° F. This period of extreme heat began when the grapes were in a cluster and berry size development stage, causing grapes to stress out weeks before we vintners would prefer. Consequently, there was a 30% reduction in crop size due to smaller berries, though these smaller berries produced exceptional flavors. We also saw rapid ripening at a pace last seen in 2015, creating a very early harvest start. By the end of August, we had brought in nearly 150 tons of sparkling wine grapes and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, hands down an August record for us at Airfield. By the end of September, we had crushed every white varietal, which benefited us in winemaking as we could give 100% of our attention to red varietals. October began with favorable warm temperatures, and the pace of harvest was going very well, with ideal ripeness and exceptional quality. By the third week of October, we did see several freezing events causing our canopies to die. With only a limited amount of fruit remaining, it was easy for us to harvest the last remaining fruit before the end of October. In the end, the 2021 vintage produced outstanding wines. The red wines, in particular, showcase dark fruit elements with structure and finesse. The wines crafted in 2021 will be enjoyable in their youth but also age-worthy, making a lasting impression.

Winemaking Notes

Sourced exclusively from our estate vineyard, this Malbec hails from carefully selected reserve tier blocks cropped to small yields to produce ripe, concentrated flavors. Harvested towards the end of October at optimal maturity, the grapes were sent directly to a small fermenter and cold-soaked for 48 hours before inoculating with a specific yeast strain for alcoholic fermentation. Our extraction protocol was balanced between aerated pump-overs and gentle punch-downs to extract the complex flavors from our Malbec while maintaining gentle tannin extraction that balances the wine’s natural acidity. Fermented on the skins for approximately 16 days, the grapes were then sent to the press for a gentle pressing before being sent to exclusive French oak barrels. During the first two months of aging, the lees were stirred back into the wine twice per month. This process gives the wine a rounder mouthfeel while naturally softening the wine. The wine was aged in 100% French Oak for 22 months.

Food Pairing

Cuban-Styled Lechon Asado (Roasted Pork)
Garlic & Jalapeno Bison Burger
Swordfish Steak with Mango-chutney
Shropshire Blue Cheese or Manchego

  • Varietal Composition: Malbec
  • Appellation: Yakima Valley
  • Cases Produced: 341
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • pH: 3.66
  • Acidity: 6.20 g/L
  • Ageability: Enjoy now through 2033, with optimal maturity around 2030.

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