Denis Malbec has been making the wines at Erba for a few years now, which has given him the opportunity to gradually identify the best areas in the 16 blocks of our 20-acre mountainside estate vineyard. In 2011 he narrowed his search to three blocks, then the portions within those blocks that he felt produce the best wines, which were then harvested and crushed for Erba.
For Premiere Napa Valley, he dug even deeper. From those wines designated for Erba, he selected those barrels that best showed the estate’s terroir and blended them to create this singular offering.
Denis started at Château Latour as one of the cellar workers in 1993 and took the position as Enologist and Cellar Master at Château Latour in 1994 and made the vintages from 1994 to 1999.
Denis consults for a number of boutique wineries in and around the Napa Valley; among them we find Kapcsàndy Family Winery and Blankiet Estate in Yountville, Captûre Wines and Respite in Sonoma. In Lake County they also have a few projects with Aliénor and Xurus.
Country born: France
Education: Mentors are his dad and his grand-father.
Denis first studied viticulture and enology in Bordeaux where he got a Brevet de Technicien Agricole - 1987 - and a Brevet de Technicien Supérieur Agricole specialized in viticulture and winemaking - 1989 - and later in Reims, Champagne, where he got a Diplôme National d’Œnologue - 1991 - and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées in management, marketing and enology research.
He completed his studies with a Tour de France of the vineyards with work at Château Lagrange - 1988 -, Château Haut-Brion - 1989 -, the Pugnac Cooperative Vinicole - 1989 - in Côte de Bourg, Léon Viollant - 1990 - in Côte de Beaune, Duval Leroy - 1990 & 1991 - in the Côte des Blancs in Champagne and at Calvet - 1992 -, negociant in Bordeaux.
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
“Terroir, time and passion make great wine!”
Nakagawa Wine Co.
3-1-3, Kotobashi, Sumida-Ku