x
  • Country ranking ?

    682
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Duck Breast & Lentil and Parsnip Salad

The Story

MAY-BRITT & DENIS MALBEC, formerly of Château Latour, have created the wines of Notre Vin to honor their favorite California terroirs. Nearly a decade of consulting with Napa and Sonoma Valleys' finest wineries has given this team an in-depth understanding of the region's diverse vineyards and microclimates. They have carefully selected vineyards in the Napa Valley, including Howell Mountain, and along the Sonoma Coast that yield grapes of concentration and balance, and they interpret this fruit through a legacy of Bordeaux winemaking experience that spans generations.

Notre Vin, which means “our wine” in French, produces a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Howell Mountain foothills, a Rosé from Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Burgundian-style Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. All wines are crafted in very limited quantities. Our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are sourced from a few very select vineyards sites on top of the mountain at an altitude of about 1800 feet.
 

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Vintage 2009

“The growing season from bud break, mid-March to early May, was extremely dry. This pattern changed in early May with a rainfall that ended up putting over three inches on Howell Mountain. This late rain gave the vines ample moisture to allow for very good growth with minimal inputs from us. The pre-set cluster numbers looked very good heading into bloom. The bloom period was cool and extended which resulted in a limited set in numerous Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. The veraison was expected to be extended as well due to the bloom experience, but surprisingly, the change of color was actually compact, which will create very uniform ripening, as the Cabernet Sauvignon moved along remarkably fast during this period, particularly on the mountain. With little to no frost, very few heat spikes and beautiful moderate temperatures during the summer it looked like the perfect scenario for harvest. The end of August into early September saw the most significant heat spike with the lowest humidity of the season. Sugars moved up nicely through this period, anywhere from two to four Brix. Through the month of September, very short and mild heat spikes occurred about every seven to ten days and humidity levels fell a few times below 20%, further increasing the risk of berry dehydration. Managing irrigation before and after these spikes was critical to avoid dehydration. October began with mild high-temperatures and, more importantly, low-temperatures moving down into the mid thirties. A significant rain event happened on October 13th with about three inches rainfall. Another lighter rain occurred on the 19th of October. The effect of this rain could be measured in the uptake of moisture to the plants which caused some swelling to the berries and in many cases helped to limit brix readings. Also of concern after the rain was the onset of rot, Penicillium spp. and possibly Aspergillus. Fortunately this rot was seen on sunburned berries only, usually on the afternoon side of the vine and was pretty limited on Howell Mountain, so a quick pass to remove these infected berries prior to harvest prevented the rot to be delivered to the wineries. In general, the harvest was on average a week later than normal. All in all a relatively uneventful growing season until the harvest period.

May-Britt & Denis Malbec, prorietors of Notre Vin and consultants for Blankiet, Kapscandy,

 

NOTRE VIN - THE STORY

MAY-BRITT & DENIS MALBEC, formerly of Château Latour, have created the wines of Notre Vin to honor their favorite California terroirs. Nearly a decade of consulting with Napa and Sonoma Valleys' finest wineries has given this team an in-depth understanding of the region's diverse vineyards and microclimates. They have carefully selected vineyards in the Napa Valley, including Howell Mountain, and along the Sonoma Coast that yield grapes of concentration and balance, and they interpret this fruit through a legacy of Bordeaux winemaking experience that spans generations.

Notre Vin, which means “our wine” in French, produces a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Howell Mountain foothills, a Rosé from Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Burgundian-style Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. All wines are crafted in very limited quantities.

NOTRE VIN - THE LEGACY

DENIS MALBEC was born at Château Latour, the renowned Bordeaux First Growth house in Pauillac, France. He took his first steps in the cellar and later learned to ride a bike by weaving among the vineyard rows. In 1993, Denis followed in his father's footsteps, starting as a cellar worker at Château Latour and eventually becoming Enologist and Cellar Master. He crafted vintages from 1994 to 1999. Denis is the third generation of his family to have worked at Château Latour.

May-Britt has received numerous distinctions as a sommelier, including the Prince Henri-Melchior de Polignac Award in 1992, with Serena Sutcliffe Sotheby's Master of Wine as president of the jury, designating May-Britt the best sommelier in the Nordic countries. As a result, she soon began serving on important judging panels, such as Le Mondial for the best sommelier in the world and Trophée Ruinart for the best European sommelier. May-Britt moved to Bordeaux in 1995 to oversee public relations at Château Latour.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep, Purple and Bright

ending

Medium, Extensive, Pure and Too tannic

flavors

Blackcurrant, Toasty, Floral, Chocolate, Spice and Blackberry

nose

Complex, Fresh, Ripe and Intense

taste

Average in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Balanced, Concentrated, Well-structured, Youthful, Medium-bodied, Firm, Focused, Elegant and Drying tannins

Verdict

Well-rounded and Impressive

Written Notes

"mountain fruit? cool site restraint, intense with silky tannins, rich texture, nuanced, dries slightly on finish- 93"    This is Denis and May Brit Malbec's own project and their influence was noticeable.  They sourced the grapes from a Howell Mountain vineyard, so I did make the right call on the fruit (lucky!).  Several of the mountain sites were noticeably different (red fruit influences, more acidity and complexity) than the more lush, black fruit driven valley floor sites like Tokalon, et al.  Great stuff.

  • 93p
Good looking normal size bottle. Colour is ruby red, and looking bright and deep. On the nose it is open, intense and youthful. The taste is and average in acidity and medium-bodied. On the palate it is layered and has blackcurrant, toasty and spice flavours.
- (Created by Tb)
  • 90p

Information

Origin

St.Helena, Napa Valley

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

No Potential

Fake factory

None

Glass time

2h

Other wines from this producer

Notre Vin Cabernet Sauvignon Cuvée l’Etrier

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

93p
 Michael Jones, Wine Blogger (United States)  tasted  Notre Vin Cabernet Sauvignon 2009  ( Malbec & Malbec Cellars )

"mountain fruit? cool site restraint, intense with silky tannins, rich texture, nuanced, dries slightly on finish- 93"    This is Denis and May Brit Malbec's own project and their influence was noticeable.  They sourced the grapes from a Howell Mountain vineyard, so I did make the right call on the fruit (lucky!).  Several of the mountain sites were noticeably different (red fruit influences, more acidity and complexity) than the more lush, black fruit driven valley floor sites like Tokalon, et al.  Great stuff.

10d 15h ago

87p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  Notre Vin Cabernet Sauvignon 2009  ( Malbec & Malbec Cellars )

"Wine that needs to be sealed in a cellar at least for ten years rather twenty. Reserved, closed and dominated by firm tannins and crisp acidity. If served now you better serve it with a juicy medium-rare Rib Eye with red wine sauce or grilled duck breast with beetroot-chevre carpaccio with a dash of Balsamico. "

4y 2m ago

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