"Bold notes of sun-warmed blackberry and rich leather combine for a classic, yet terroir-driven Malbec nose. On the palate, red and black fruit meld elegantly with subtle hints of vanilla and oak, before transitioning to a big spice finish. With strong tannins, this wine will age gracefully for many years."
- Ben Bradley, Winemaker & Wine Blogger
There were two waves of taste. As expected, the first wave was a bit hot, due to it's youth and the alcohol. Not in a overwhelming way, but you definitely taste the strength of the almighty Malbec. This is not a shy wine. It's bold, but also soft when it needs to be soft. The second wave you get is super smooth. Lately I have been enjoying Pinot Noir and this wine had the smoothness and butteriness in the second wave of a phenomenal, strong (and much more expensive) Pinot Noir. I wasn't sure what to expect, especially with the wine still being so young, but it was absolutely delicious!! It's an exciting wine and I cannot wait to see how it evolves over time; just like great wines... it's going to get better with age. I have another bottle that I cannot wait to open. It's like seeing the Christmas presents under the tree and wanting to rip them open before Christmas. But I am going to wait until January 2015 to see how the wine matures... Christmas cannot come soon enough!
We just returned from a trip to Mendoza, where of course we sampled some of the finest Malbecs from the Uco Valley, home of Rule of 3. This wine is absolutely fantastic. We tasted this a few weeks after bottling and it was great from the first sip to the last. We tried it after initial corkage and then after letting it breathe for an hour and it just kept getting even better, so this wine has plenty of promise and certainly has aging credentials.
I would say this wine tastes wonderfully ripe, with some dark fruit characteristics that are just sublime.
In Mendoza we tasted plenty of premium Uco Valley Malbecs from Lindaflor to Vina Cobos Bramare to De Angeles Gran Reserva – all superb and can be procured at a similar price point. But honestly, Rule of 3 sets a precedent for Uco Valley Malbecs and I can’t wait to drink more 2012 and future vintages.
Let's add some context to my review: I love Malbecs and yes it deserves capitalization. Not just, because I am a fan of Argentinean culture, but I favor the flavor of big, bold, body reds that good Malbecs seem to offer, balanced and smooth. It's that full taste and rolling flavor from start to finish of “oh this would go amazing with a steak in the mountains, next to a fireplace with hopefully a hot tub nearby” that keeps me a loyal fan.
However, there are those bottles that even though they are of the Malbec grape command a certain amount of this boldness in their flavor, but have an aspect of wimpiness with some sort of watered-down fire. That frailty dilutes my visions of fireside mountainous grandeur accompanied by buttery sirloin.
Rule of Three’s Malbec turned my prediction and sanity preservation system upside down with the first sip and swirl at the Argentinean steakhouse in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood. Trying this Malbec and knowing that the right people had made calculated decisions about the wine beforehand had set my innate expectations high. Using my self-prescribed optimism sedation tool, I reined my hopes back in to some form of probable outcome. Even though I was trying the Rule of Three Malbec in its infancy, there was nothing weak about it. My eyes lit up! I thought ok, let’s try this with some food and preferably some steak prepared in an Argentinean fashion. The Rule of Three Malbec was still bold in flavor and was actually meeting my original taste aspirations.
Now that I had my internal mental constructs rocked, I needed to compare the Rule of Three wine to fully matured Malbecs and not just any Malbecs. I wanted the comparison to include the type of Malbecs that could only be recommended by an Agrentinean bartender at a legit Argentinean steak establishment.
Speaking to the bartender, we asked for a few of his best Malbecs. All of the recommendations were quite good, but I was amazed at how the Rule of Three Malbec even in its youthful state more than held its own with these veteran Argentinean reds. In some instances the Rule of Three Malbec definitely out-shined and outclassed its tenured colleagues. Having made wine myself, it is no easy task and is definitely a craft that requires an expectation lessening system most of the time for the resulting flavor produced.
All I have to say in conclusion is that I am already excited about this wine and the promise that there are moments in my life when people do things well and optimism and hope can be left alone to savor with a great glass of wine.
Congratulations gentlemen! You’ve outdone yourselves.
These young vintners have hit a home run with their first vintage. From the story, to the elegant packaging and bold flavors, this wine shows why Rule of Three will be a forced to be reckoned with for years to come.