Malma Finca La Papay Pinot Noir 2015

Everyone thinks of Mendoza Malbec when they think of Argentina, but a couple hundred miles to the south sits the up and coming region of Patagonia, the home of windy days and cool nighttime temperatures. With 300 days of sunshine a year, Patagonia has no problem getting its grapes nice and ripe and the cooler temperatures insure the chill-loving Pinot Noir a nice, slow evolution until ready for harvest.A word about the nomenclature -- NQN is the abbreviation for Neuquen, the name of the subregion in Patagonia. It is a northern area -- southern Patagonia is too cold to grow wine grapes. Malma means "pride" in the local language.Being a cooler growing area, the Pinot Noir here is lighter in color and lighter in style. It has a weight similar to a Bourgogne Rouge from a cool vintage (think 2013) but with more pronounced black cherry and black raspberry flavors and aromas. It is not as earthy as its Burgundian counterparts. The wine spends nine months in a mix of French and American oak barrels.On the table, this is terrific with fattier salmon or mackerel. It is also lovely with a cheesey fennel and potato gratin and is delicious with braised chicken thighs.

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