“Deep purple color. Mature aromas and flavors of leather, cranberry, pine, cedar, dried mulberries, and cured meats with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium body and a stimulating, medium-long shitake mushrooms, lingonberry jam, dark chocolate, and dried tomato finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. A nicely matured Malbec for steak night.” Review from Tastings.com (Beverage Tasting Institute, Chicago):
22 Consecutive Vintages of Rennie Vineyard Malbec
Our Rennie Organic Vineyard was planted in 1990. It features a split canopy, quadrilateral cordon with a 9’ x 6’ spacing. It rests on benchlands at about 1,000 ft. elevation with a southern exposure.
At the time we first planted Malbec there were fewer than 100 acres of it in the whole state. With two additions over the years we now have three clones: FPS #9 (COT clone 180 from France), #595 EV (originated in the town of Cahors), FPS #4 from Bordeaux. We’ve found that each of the clones contributes a range of aromas and flavors thereby adding increased complexity.
Harvested on Sep. 29, 2016, grapes were gently crushed, and cold soaked for three days before inoculation with Assmanhausen yeast. Fermentation was held at a constant 80°F for 13 days and then the wine was gently pressed and racked to French oak barrels for ageing. After 18 months the wines were settled, fined, and gently filtered before bottling. Lovely now, or hold up to 3 to 8 years.
Some Fun Facts - The "Black Wines"
The red wines (minimum of 70% Malbec of the Lot Valley vineyards have such a deep color that they are commonly known as the Black Wines of Cahors, a town located east of Bordeaux in western France. Loved by Roman Emperors, who authorized the vines to be planted some 2,000 years ago, Cahors wine was on the tables at the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet in 1152. Popes (especially Jean XXII, himself a Cahorsin), Kings and Russian Czars loved the stuff and its reputation spread far and wide.
Awards By Vintage – Malbec, Our Rennie Organic Vineyard
2016 - 95 pts, Tastings.com; Double Gold, S.F. Int'l Wine Competition
2015 - "Highly Recommended," Tastings.com
2014 - 91 pts, Tastings.com
2013 - 93 pts, Tastings.com
2012 - Silver, Orange County Fair
2010 - Gold & Best of Class, New World; 91 pts, Beverage Tasting Institute
2009 - 91 pts, Food & Beverage World; 89 pts, Ken's Wine Guide
2007 - 91 pts, Food & Beverage World
2006 - Gold & Best of Class, California State Fair
2005 - Best of Class, California State Fair
2004 - Gold & Best of Class, New World; Best of Class, California State Fair
2003 - Gold, New World International; Gold, Orange County
2001 - Gold, World Wine Market
2000 - Silver, L.A. County
1999 - Silver, S.F. Chronicle
1997 - Gold, Grand Harvest Awards
1996 - 86 pts, Beverage Tasting Institute