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Bodegas Noemia

text and photographs © 2008 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Argentina.

the wines

Bodega Noemia A Lisa 2006
90% Malbec, 10% Merlot. No new oak in this cuvée, only second and third fill barrels. Nice oak on this, with a fine, cedary character. Fruit is delicate, with a red fruit and a very fine smokiness. The palate has very pure, racy red fruit character, just backed up with an integrated delicate oakiness. Good persistence and juiciness, and the creamy oak just adding depth. 90/100. £17 - £20 approximately.

Bodega Noemia J. Alberto 2006
J. Alberto is named after Noemia's brother and father. 95% Malbec, 5% Merlot, a field blend form the 1955 vineyard. 30% New oak. Much meatier, richer nose, with more fragrance from the fruit and oak. The palate has some dry, mouth-coating tannin, but the florality and beautiful persistence of the fruit comes through powerfully, with a gorgeous acid and tannin axis adding superb freshness. Delicious and very long. 93/100. £30 - £35 approximately.

Bodega Noemia J. Alberto 2007
Bottled the day before I tasted it. Massive chocolaty quality to the fruit, but that beautifully honed black fruit and raspberry freshness comes through. The fruit sweetness is terrific, with a coffeeish oak coming through and plenty of freshening acidity and tannins. This needs time to knit, but has fantastic black sweet fruit and beautiful structure and length. 93/100.

Bodega Noemia 2001
100% Malbec. All from the same 1932 vineyard, only 3,000 bottles can be produced. Hans went through the vineyard marking each of the Malbec vines to identify them. Only natural yeasts, and each berry de-stemmed by hand. Beautiful nose, flooded with cedar and truffle, with plenty of sous-bois, ripe, rich chocolaty berries and a touch of iron-filings. Beautiful nose. Gorgeous palate too, with a bloody streak of gaminess, and a beautifully refined, svelte black fruit. Coffee and chocolate intermingle with silk, ripe tannins in a seductive wine. 94/100. Around £50.

Bodega Noemia 2002
Fantastic nose, with such elegant, Bordeaux-like blood-streaked, gamy black fruit, with hints of minerality and earth. The palate has delightful sweetness with extraordinary ripe, deep, very mouth filling melange of the copious ripe fruit, and all that bloody, fine minerality. Delightful elegance here, and a delightful balance again, with a long, long finish. 95/100

Bodega Noemia 2003
Very, very tight, with much more intense, mineral, but beautifully expressive Malbec nose of floral-edged, kirsch-like black plum and cherry. The oak is sweet and vanillin, with hints of mint and chocolate. The palate has a real intensity too, with a svelte blue-black raciness, lots of kirsch and taut fruit against Sandalwood and mellow coffee and earthy flavours. Terrific acidity, and very dry tannins, giving this power and structure, though perhaps not quite the finesse of the earlier vintages. 93/100

Bodega Noemia 2004
Fantastic chocolaty and mocha nose, with a flood of very svelte, ripe, deep-seated black fruit, with little hints of the violet and kirsch of the grape, and plenty of spicy and cedary nuances. The nose is endlessly fascinating, with layers of fruit and tertiary aromas. The palate has that plump, seductive, intensely sweet and concentrated fruit, with beautiful spices and glossy fruit, and fabulous concentration and length. Lovely nuanced, layered finish. Power, finesse, concentration and simply outstanding. 97/100

Bodega Noemia 2006
Barrel sample. The 2005 was declassified after a freak frost ravaged the vineyard. Very schisty, mineral, highly promising nose, with very nice quality of oak, and a focused seam of ripe black fruit. The palate betrays a little oak dominance at the moment, but there is wonderful concentration without extraction, and copious layers of coffee and earth, minerals and fantastically ripe, fine, chocolaty tannins and that bright, elongating acidity. A baby of course and needs to integrate, but superb. 95/100, with potential for 97/100. Should be arriving in the UK around now (June 2008).

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