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Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 11.39.19 AMPreviously, I spoke of receiving a free bottle of wine or a discount for a review. Back in August, I had reviewed Hand of God’s red blend. I was a little underwhelmed by the complexity of such an exciting blend. This time, I am trying their more expensive red that has received many positive reviews.

The 2010 Hand of God “Mano de dios” Old Vine Malbec comes in a hefty bottle and at a hefty price of $75 on their website. And me getting only two bottles at $21 shipping to Virginia is really becomes a $85 bottle.

But before we get into that, what is your expectations in a bottle of wine that costs the same as a nice dinner? Mine usually is one of complex bold flavors and something that really wows me. Most of the time, I am looking for that $20 bottle that tastes like an $85 bottle. But you have to once and a while taste that $85 bottle to really know.

Okay, back to the wine. Here is the information from their website on the production of this wine. I do not see any tasting notes:

 92 pts Wine Spectator, 92 pts Wine Advocate, 91 pts Wine Enthusiast, 91 pts Tasting Panel Magazine

100% Malbec

What does “old vine” mean? By industry standards, the term ‘Old Vine’ usually means a wine whose vines are 30-40 years old, for new world wines. Vinifera can live up to 120 years or more.

What was the winemaking process for the Old Vine Malbec? The Old Vine Malbec was hand-harvested into small plastic bins, and then hand-sorted, and destemmed into one-ton open-top stainless steel fermenting tanks. Cold soak maceration was not warranted, nor any acid corrections, or sulfite additions. The only additions added during the fermentation process were DAP and F33 yeast. Caps were manually punched-down every three hours for a week, then down to three times a day for four days. Skins were pressed off in a pneumatic press to 1 bar. First press fraction was added to main wine, and the rest was discarded. The wine was monitored for two days during gross lees settlement, and then racked to 100% new French oak barrels. The wine stayed on the lees for 20 months and bottled without fining or filtering.

Very detailed production notes. I know quite a bit about the production of wine and even I am like sounds good? The back of the bottle does give use some broad notes, I just noticed. “Intensely powerful flavors of fresh red & black fruit combine with linear minerality, bright acidity & silky tannins to produce elegant and sultry seduction in a glass.”

So how was it? Better than the blend?

Color – Deep dark red.

Nose – Red fruit, light pepper, Cinnamon and Vanilla. There is also a very strong saddle leather there too.

Taste – Red fruit of cranberries and cherries with some darkness to it as well. Little bit of spiced chocolate.

Finish – Long with high acid and medium tannins.

Overall, this is a very good Malbec. It is very complex on the nose and the high acid would go good with almost any steak. I was a little surprised by the tannins and thought there would be more there. But still a very good wine. Is it worth $85? The jury is still out on this one but if it was $50, I would still purchase it.

Rating: A

~Justin