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Malbec Signature 2019

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Malbec Signature 2019
Malbec Signature 2019
Tasting notes

Serendipity is often the name of the game in wine. We started producing Malbec in 1993 for one reason... to blend! It was the fifth Bordeaux in our Quintet adding aromatics and color. But it was obvious from its first harvest that our mountain Malbec was something special. The cool climate at our 2,800-foot-elevation vineyards produces a wine that is intensely fruity, intensely colored and intensely weighty with suprisingly soft tannins. Dense yet balanced, this playful variety continually intrigues our palates year after year.

Other notes

Lamb, mushrooms, savory spices, and reduction sauces (with cherries, berries and/or blue cheese). Think heartier fare with this wine, and enjoy putting it down in the cellar for a few years too! (Cellaring Potential: 5-9+ years)

AppellationEl Dorado
VineyardEstate Vineyards
Aging20 months in neutral oak barrels
Fermentation14 days on skins in small fermenters
Volume750 ml
Bottling Date03/24/2022
Cases Produced451

A blend of three different small plantings in our Enyé Vineyards in Pleasant Valley and the home vineyards at Madrona, the vines are vigorous and strong. At the Enyé Vineyards, one vineyard is grafted onto a 30-year old Sauvignon Blanc vineyard and the other on the devigorating rootstock 101-14. With a definite northern exposure at 2,800 feet, the climate is cooler, thus extending this early-ripening variety. Production levels hover around 1.5 tons/acre, due mainly to the smallness of the clusters. At the Madrona Vineyards, the vines are grafted onto Merlot (as rootstock) with the effect of taming the vine slightly. The west-facing slope of this vineyard produces ripe, dense wines with the persistent low yields of the variety. The blend of the two vineyard locations results in a Malbec with balance and an intensity of fruit that other varieties can't match.

Paul Bush, Owner/Winemaker

Madroña Vineyards

Camino, California. 


We are a family-owned and operated winery focusing on terroir-driven, Estate-Grown fruit.

Annual Case Production:  12,000 cases

Planted Acres:  70 acres planted at the 2,850 to 3,000 foot elevation.

Career Background:  Having helped plant the family vineyards as a kid in 1973, I grew up working in our winery what seemed like every day after school. I had no intention of “winding up” in the wine industry and graduated from U.C. Davis in 1989 with a degree in Economics. However, with an interest in traveling abroad, our winery offered a flexible schedule and an opportunity to work with inspiring winemakers such as Mark Foster and Hugh Chappelle. I began managing the vineyards and business in 1991 and making the wines in late 2002.

Biggest Professional Challenge: Balance! Working with my wife, Maggie, we find our greatest challenge is how to be business owners with all of its responsibilities while making the wines, growing the grapes, marketing the brand and raising two daughters. Any given day can be filled with dusting the vineyards at daybreak, acid trials before lunch, working in the tasting room in the afternoon—and then throw in a swim meet or school play for spice.  Undoubtedly, every small, family winery tackles the same aspect of wearing so many hats, but the challenge and excitement is unique to each one.

Varietals that Madroña is Known for:  In total, we grow 27 varieties in our El Dorado vineyards. From within these plantings, however, I believe that Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Riesling and the seven Portuguese varieties (for our New-World Port) are consistently outstanding.

Short Testimonial: I truly can’t imagine doing anything else but growing grapes and enjoying  wine. I believe the terroir of our region is unique with overall cool-climate aspects, peppered with warm summer days and a slightly shorter growing season. So finding the true expression of each variety for our vineyards ends up being an exciting and challenging adventure every vintage. The wines have more backbone and structure than most regions of California while showcasing the intense varietal character of mountain fruit. Most often, I find that the wine knows best in how it should be “made,” and I’m just along for the ride. As we once heard in France, “One does not make wine. One elaborates wine!” And with our Estate-grown grapes, I am quite content to be the “elaborator.”

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