One of the lesser-known grapes to be used in traditional Bordeaux blends, Malbec is increasingly celebrated as a South American varietal, and it was in the Andean foothills of Mendoza in Argentina where Picchetti’s owner, Leslie, first discovered and fell in love with this wine. The experience had such a profound effect on her that she set her mind to producing her own Californian Malbec. This latest release represents our sixth vintage (using grapes sourced exclusively from a small San Benito County vineyard). Barrel-aged in French oak for 18 months (43% new barrels), this smooth fruit-forward wine adeptly balances acidity with bursts of red fruit flavors. Engaging aromas of rose petals, violets, wild berry, vanilla and a balsamic note waft out of the glass, while juicy cherry, black pepper, savory herb and cocoa powder drive the spicy, polished palate. This rich food-friendly wine is very drinkable now, and the nicely integrated tannins will permit its elegance to gradually unfold in the bottle through 2027. The perfect accompaniment to grilled meats with chimichurri sauce, empanadas and calzones, it is adaptable enough to stand up to spicy Thai, Indian, Cajun and Mexican cuisine. A tantalizing tango for the taste buds!