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Wine Pick of the Week – Doffo 2008 Malbec

Doffo Wine Pick - malbec vines

Doffo Winery's 2008 Malbec. (photo by Tom Plant)

Doffo Winery is perhaps the best-kept secret in the Temecula Wine Country. Owner Marcello Doffo and his family (wife Zulma and their children Damian and Brigitte) produce some of the most flavorful, full-bodied and fruit-forward wines in the area – if not all of California. Following the philosophy that great winemaking begins in the vineyard, their attention to detail – extra pruning of the vines, thinning the grape clusters, restriction of water – helps to insure that their grapes are some of the richest and intense-tasting in the area. They even play classical music in their vineyard to help soothe the vines and grapes (Syrah & Cabernet, please meet Beethoven). Such meticulous cultivation pays off with the end result – bold, complex, world-class wines that are not to be missed.

With so many of their current amazing wines to chose from, it was difficult to narrow the field down and select one for this week’s “Wine Pick.” Their 2009 Sauvignon Blanc’s nose is full of pineapple and mango, yet once it hits the palate, honey & butter take over. I love their 2008 Mistura – a medium-bodied 60/40 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah that will pair with just about any dish. Are you looking for a jammy Zinfandel full of spice and ripe plum? Then try their 2008 vintage – amazing! I could go on and on as each of their unfiltered wines deserve their own article, but for years now I’ve loved Malbecs, and Doffo is one of the few Temecula-area wineries to grow and produce this grape. Hence, my Wine Pick of the Week is Doffo’s 2008 Malbec.

Though it originated in France (it’s a Bordeaux varietal mostly used for blending), within the last 15 years, Malbec has become one of the leading exports of the South American wine world, including Chile and especially Argentina. But please don’t think that this grape is new to South America – in fact, it was first planted in Argentina back around 1850. With such history, it’s no surprise that Marcello Doffo, with his Argentinean heritage, decided to grow this lush, texturally soft, dark purple varietal on his estate. What a wise choice.

Doffo Wine Pick - malbec 2

(photo by Tom Plant)

Oak aged just over 10 months, Doffo’s ’08 vintage has all of the stunning characteristics one would expect to find in an outstanding Malbec. Its vivid violet-purple color grabs your eye immediately and its delicate aromas of wild cherry, red berries, nutmeg, and a little vanilla make it difficult to remove your nose from the glass – I can smell this wine all evening. Of course, its true payoff comes with the taste & mouthfeel – a complex yet smooth experience dictated by soft & sweet tannins and rich, intense fruit (damson plum & raisin). Pair this lovely wine with authentic Argentine BBQ or slow-cooked beef stew, and you’ll have treated yourself to a memorable meal experience.

Because of their limited tasting room hours (Fri-Sun only, 10am-5pm), Marcello has been kind enough to offer you – our loyal Taste of Temecula readers – $10 off their “red wine” tasting list for the next TWO weekends: Sept. 3-5 & 10-12. Simply mention this article to cash in on the deal. For those of you who prefer to do your wine tasting during the week, simply call the Doffo @ 714-715-6610 to set up an appointment. Just tell them Chris from Taste of Temecula sent you and be prepared to taste some of the finest wines Temecula has yet to produce.

Doffo Winery – 36083 Summitville, Temecula, CA 92592. 714/715-6610.

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