The Dirt On Our Red Mountain AVA Malbec

12 Apr

You step on it, kick it around, not thinking twice about…until you enjoy a wine that does somersaults on your palate, proposes to your taste buds, and lingers longer than your most recent thought. It’s the dirty secret that wine enthusiasts never keep. Dirt matters! And here’s what matters about the dirt when it comes to our 2012 Red Mountain AVA Malbec.

The fruit for our 2012 Malbec is from Scooteney Flats Vineyard, located at the lower elevations in the Red Mountain AVA off of Sunset Road in Benton City, WA. The vineyard gets its name from the soil type, Scooteney and because it’s flat. Makes perfect sense, right? You can actually view Scooteney Flats from the patio of our tasting room as the vineyard is directly across the street from us.

Scooteney soil in the Red Mountain AVA.

Scooteney Flats Vineyard, Red Mountain AVA

At first glance, the soil looks as if someone dumped a bunch of rocks on it, attempted to hide a few and then ran off. A closer look indicates that the soil is coarse and that the stones are actually gravel coated with calcium carbonate (lime). These stones are porous, allowing the roots to penetrate through, which is essential in sustaining a deep root system. Scootney Soil provides the vines with nutrients and regulates the amount of moisture to the vines. This dirt along with being in the Red Mountain AVA, which is a warm climate region, high velocity wind, temperature swings and limited rainfall all work in concert to create the perfect environment for wine grapes. Vineyard Manager, Damon LaLonde will tell you, Scootney Flats makes for great Malbec. Doesn’t hurt that the man leading the charge on growing the fruit has been a part of the vineyard since its start in 2007.

Frichette Malbec from Scooteney Flats vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA.

2012 Red Mountain Malbec

The combination of the soil type, Red Mountain AVA characteristics and winemaking make for a great 2012 Malbec. Frichette is proud to introduce this varietal to our line up of wines. Our Malbec provides aromas of blackberry, plum, pepper and tobacco and on the palate, experience flavors of dark fruit. Enjoy chalky tannin and a smoky finish.

And how much of the tasting experience is directly associated to Scooteney Flats dirt? The high calcium in the soil translate into a more balanced wine and contribute to the chalky tannin and great acid. Plus the name is fun to say!

Any winemaker will agree that you must start with fantastic fruit to produce a fantastic wine. We think that Scooteney Flats in the Red Mountain AVA meets this criteria. And there’s no dirt about that.