Tasting Notes

El Esteco Bodega ~ Don David ~ Blend of Terroirs Malbec ~ 2020 ~ Calchaquí Valley, Argentina

The Vigneview Verdict

Ask any wine professional, winemaker or viticulturalist what differentiates a good bottle of wine from a great one. Chances are, the word ‘terroir’ will be mentioned more often than not. So, what exactly is terroir?

Terroir is basically the countless variables that contribute to a wine’s sense of place. Everything from the soil-type, seasonal rainfall, slope, aspect, climate, micro-climate, degree growing days, clonal grapevine selection etc…are all factors that directly affect the grapes which in turn directly impact the final wine. Terroir is the ‘je ne sais quoi’ of the wine world because it embodies everything that can’t quite be easily quantified, simply explained or definitively conclusive when describing a wine.

When I saw this bottle of Don David Blend of Terroirs Malbec in my local Coop store, I just had to try it. The fact that ‘terroir’ is on the label really grabbed my attention. Winemakers who consider terroir and the impact it may have on their final wine, in my books, are approaching their winemaking on a more holistic level. Basically, the grapes are not an isolated entity…everything leaves its mark in the winemaking process! Additionally, this is a Fairtrade wine…So, at £9 a bottle, I just had to give this Malbec a try.

El Esteco, Don David Blend of Terroirs Malbec Bottle

This bottle of Don David Blend of Terroirs Malbec is made using grapes from two different altitudes within Argentina’s Calchaquí Valley, which is high-altitude region located in the northwestern Salta Province. When grown at higher elevations, Malbec develops incredible complexities and elegant nuances, as noted when I tasted Bodega Colomé’s Malbec wines which are from the same region. The fact that this Malbec is a blend of two different terroirs, simply enables the winemaker to add more depth to the wine. Eager to get tasting, I popped the corked and poured myself a glass!

A glorious deep, redish-purple colour filled my glass, along with aromas of fresh violets, stewed red plums, black cherries, blackberries and cassis. I also detected a little bit of vanilla as well as a smokey, tobacco note from 9 months of oak ageing. Honestly, this wine was ticking all the boxes right from the start.

On the palate, this wine continued to delight the senses. Further flavours of blackcurrant, a bit of menthol and a subtle peppery spicy note accompanied smooth tannins and an uplifting, flavourful finish that lingered.

The range of complexities found within this wine are a clear indicator of diverse terroir. Without these variables, this wine, just simply put, wouldn’t be as interesting. I’m just loving the fact that this Malbec is all about the terroir!

Food Pairing

I highly recommend enjoying this bottle of Don David Blend of Terroirs Malbec alongside a leg of lamb well-seasoned with mint and other fresh herbs.

Cheers! x

Producer: El Esteco Bodega, Don David

Country: Argentina

Region: Calchaquí Valley (Salta Province)

Vintage: 2020

Grapes: Malbec

Closure: Cork

Style: Still

Colour: Deep Purple

Sweetness: Dry

Acidity: Medium+

Tannins: Medium

Alcohol: 14%

Body: Medium+


Red fruit: Stewed plums, black cherries

Black fruit: Blackberries, black currants (cassis)

Herbaceous: Mint

Oak: smokey tobacco, pepper and a hint of vanilla

Drinking Window: Drink now or keep until 2026

Price: £9 (Coop)