The Owl & The Dust Devil 2016
Agrelo, Mendoza, Argentina
Finca Decero has become recognized not only for having one of the highest quality vineyards in all of Mendoza but also for catapulting into an elite group of the most highly regarded producers in Argentina. The wines all come from the single Finca Decero vineyard, and the winery’s focus is entirely quality focused. The Owl & The Dust Devil is a red blend that employs Decero’s unique and creative nature with striking packaging which includes a label that brings one on an augmented reality journey.
Finca Decero and the estate’s single vineyard is located at 3500ft in the Agrelo sub-appellation of Luján de Cuyo in the north western part of the province of Mendoza. Remolinos Vineyard derives its name from the little whirlwind spiral formations of soil which form in the afternoon as the gentle wind lifts the dry soil from the paths of the vineyard into swaying ‘dust devils’.
Altitude plays and critical role in quality of Finca Decero’s wines as it reduces night-time temperatures which is key to preserving the natural acidity in the grapes. This natural acidity plays an important role in the aging potential of the wines (allowing the wines to age with grace over a long period of time), but also in the natural freshness/crispness and hallmark elegance of Finca Decero wines. In addition, grapes grown at higher altitudes absorb more ultraviolet light. This has a significant impact on the phenol content of the grape skins as they thicken to protect from UV absorption. As such, grapes grown at higher altitude, as at Finca Decero, produce wines of enhanced texture and intensity of color.
Finca Decero has a unique tapestry of soils which is unmatched in other areas of Agrelo. From the beginning, the winery has done extensive soil profiling to make planting decisions and in 2015, overseen by wine terroir consultant Pedro Parra Ph.D, has further investigated the micro-differences affecting each individual vine. Remolinos Vineyard is the converging point in Agrelo of two different soil formations: alluvial and colluvial soils. The vineyard also uniquely has very high levels of calcium carbonate dissolved in the silt deposits interlaced through these soil types across the vineyard. It is this dissolved calcium carbonate and silt that give Decero wines their hallmark silky palate feel for which they are renown.
The grapes were selected berry by berry before being gravity fed into small fermentation tanks. 7 days cold soak was followed by 10 days fermentation in small stainless steel tanks at 77-79°F for more aromatic parcels and 82-84°F for parcels with more concentration and structure. Finally, the parcels benefited from 15 days of maceration post fermentation before being transferred to mature in small French oak barrels (40% new oak) for 18 months. Only after this stage were the final selection of parcels and the optimal composition of the wine decided.
The forecast of the 2016 vintage was set to be similar to the cool, rainy 2015 vintage. With this in mind, leaves were plucked on both the east and west facing canopies to ensure good airflow in the face of cool rains. In reality, the intermittent rains stopped in January and the dry February and March saw phenolic ripeness achieved. The vintage expresses itself in high acidity, lower than normal alcohol and fresh flavors.
This red wine is a single vineyard blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Tannat. The Cabernet gives the wine backbone and structure which is supported by the aromatics and silky profile of the Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Petit Verdot and Tannat provide not only a rich core to the wine but also depth of character and flavor for superb ageing potential.
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Tannat
Agrelo, Mendoza, Argentina
Certified sustainable and vegan. Minimal machinery is used – there are no tractors in the vineyards, and all fruit is hand-picked and gravity fed in the winery. Sprays are minimal and at organic levels, irrigation is drip, and all water at the winery is re-used. The winery encourages natural biodiversity, such as lechuza owls which prey on vine pests.
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Wine Advocate - "The modern, clean and harmonious 2016 The Owl and The Dust Devil Icon Blend seems to have gained in freshness and precision. It's 50% Malbec, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 8% Tannat and 4% Cabernet Franc. It's marked as Icon Blend on the label because the brand has turned into a whole range now. It's balanced and elegant but with power and concentration, moderately oaky and with a nice and fresh finish."
Other Wines by this Producer
A core intensity of red fruit flavors and lifted violet aromas remain the signature of Malbec from the estate’s Remolinos Vineyard. This is exquisitely balanced by freshness of acidity and an elegant integration of French oak which adds complexity to the rich mid palate.
Agrelo is recognized for red varieties and while it has been acknowledged for its high-quality Malbec it has also become known as the source of some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon emanating from Argentina. The wine has a beautiful, full-bodied structure that comes across effortlessly due to the hallmark Decero refinement.
As the name suggests, Mini Ediciones are highly limited parcels of wine. From lesser known varieties, these wines are wholly expressive of the Remolinos Vineyard and represent an opportunity to taste a variety rarely seen in a pure form. In 2006, in recognition of its unique potential from the coarse, low vigor soils of our Remolinos Vineyard, the winery first selected a few exceptional barrels of wine to make a well-deserved Decero Mini Ediciones Petit Verdot.
Decero Amano takes its name from the “Amano” or “by hand” approach. As the pinnacle of the winery's achievements each vintage, Decero Amano is a blend of the most distinctive parcels from the Remolinos Vineyard. The wine is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Tannat: violet aromas emanate from the Malbec, red fruit flavors and structure of the Cabernet gives excellent length, while the jasmine perfumed Petit Verdot brings firm tannins as does the Tannat, which adds even more textural complexity.
Agrelo, Mendoza, Argentina
Finca Decero's Mini Ediciones Cabernet Franc is one of the winery's three "rare varieties & limited edition" wines. The wine shows nuances of bell pepper, graphite and plum notes with fresh aromatics and taunt acidity resulting in a well-structured Cabernet Franc with great potential for aging.