How can one not be excited when the third bottle of wine from my wine club is a Malbec? There is just so much pleasure when I unpack my carton from “A Taste of Monterey” as I never know what is there. They may be more expensive compared to the daily wines that we may have on a routine day, but that is the beauty of wine. Some wines just scream out, that they need to be shared with friends or relatives that can appreciate them. If I were rich, perhaps I would not be so excited, hell I might even become complacent, but since that will never happen, I guess that I shall revel in enjoyment about certain bottles of wine.
Heller Estate is a winery that we have visited a couple of times when we were staying in Carmel-by-the-Sea, but now they are known as Heller Estate Organic Vineyard. The original vines were planted in 1968. Heller Estate was one of the entities that pushed for the Carmel Valley AVA, which was granted in 1982. The winery was not one to sit on their laurels but kept striving to better themselves. The vineyards were certified organic in 1996 and then later the winery was certified in 2012. There are plenty of rules and regulations to achieve this designation and it cannot be accomplished overnight. The estate overlooks the Cachagua region of Carmel Valley and the term is considered of Indian derivation of the French “cacher” and the Spanish “agua” and combined they mean “hidden waters.” The vine roots much reach down deep for their nourishment. The vineyard grows nine different grapes from which they produce their wines. The labels all depict the bronze sculpture that is on the grounds of “The Dancers” created by Toby Heller and the labels do not do the sculpture credit, after one has seen the actual work of art. I am not sure which came first; the sculpture or the motto “Dances on Your Palate.”
The Heller Estate Malbec 2013 is the second year of a continuous drought that affected all of California, with Carmel Valley only seeing less than five inches of rain. The yield at harvest was small, but the few grapes were concentrated. The winery notes that this wine is fruit forward, medium body, soft tannins and a crisp fruity finish. There were one-hundred-thirty-four cases of wine produced and their suggested aging potential is seven to eight years. When this wine is opened, I will compare my notes to theirs.