2012 Malbec, Clear Lake  

The intense purple hue of this 2012 Malbec reflects what it delivers – an aromatic bouquet of lush dark fruits, currants, and spices. This wine boasts huge berry and plum flavors intermixed with black cherry cola, dried thyme, and freshly brewed espresso.

The rich mouthfeel is marked by a feisty acidity, accompanied by flavors of ripe blackberries, plum, earth, and subtle hints of woody spice. The silky texture is nicely balanced with ripe, round tannins.

This Malbec can hold its own against the heat of spicier foods, so try pairing it with a meat like chorizo, which will also bring out the spicy elements in the wine.


Two mountain ranges removed from the Pacific Ocean, Lake County is generally warmer and dryer than the neighboring counties of Sonoma or Napa. Clear Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in California, is the heart and soul of the Lake County wine region and is responsible for creating a specialized “lake effect” by compressing temperature extremes in nearby vineyards.

The Red Hills Lake County AVA is situated entirely within the Clear Lake AVA and at the foot of the dormant volcano Mount Konocti. The rolling terrain of this micro-region contain a thin veil of red volcanic soil above a deep layer of fractured obsidian, striking a dramatic counterpoint to the wider valleys and higher elevations of Lake County’s other areas.

Grapes were harvested from Amber Knolls Vineyard where the textbook conditions of 2,200-foot elevations, signature volcanic soil and a warm, dry climate were matched with Malbec Clone 4 on 110R rootstock in 2001. This 19-acre “all-star” planting produces small early-maturing vines that transform stress resulting from minimal irrigation into small berries and loose clusters with favorable high skin-to-juice ratios and advanced flavor development. 

Vintage: 2012


Winemaker: George Troquato

Appellation: Clear Lake

Amber Knolls Vineyard

Harvest Date(s):
October 11, 2012

Barrel Aging: 24

Cooperage: Aged for 24 month in French oak barrels (50% new)

Cases Produced: 146

Consume: 5-7 years

Release Date:
November 2015

Varietal Content:
95% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

pH: 3.76

Total Acidity:
0.60mg per 100ml

Finished Alcohol: 14.5%