Decanted... | Layer Cake Malbec 2010: Wine for the Soul


Many of us have experienced moments when life just gets us down. Stress piles up and disappointment settles in. Yep, it is just one of those weeks. Indulging in an obscenely large piece of chocolate might just be the cure. But really, a glass of Layer Cake Malbec and words of wisdom from my best friend is the far better option.

The name Layer Cake is inspired by the grandparents of its winemaker, Jayson Woodbridge. His grandfather would say that the soil where vines lived were layer cake and that good wine is like a slice of layered cake—fruit, mocha, chocolate, hints of spice, and always rich. He would follow it up with “Never pass up a good layer cake.” Such simple words, yet such incredible advice. These memories along with a passion for wine are what fueled Woodbridge’s mission to create Layer Cake, an enjoyable wine paired with an affordable price tag.

Layer Cake is from a winery rather than a vineyard. A winery is where the wine is produced; whereas, a vineyard is where the grapes are grown. There are times when vineyards also serve as wineries, but in this case Layer Cake is only a winery. That doesn’t, however, diminish the quality of the wine produced there. In fact, being labeled as a winery allows them to harvest the very best grapes they can find.

Woodbridge and his entire team look to some of his favorite grape-growing regions across the globe and hand select the best fruit from family growers. The Layer Cake Malbec was harvested from Mendoza, Argentina. Once a five mile wide river, this valley experiences a climate similar to that of Napa Valley with warm days and cool evenings. The territory shares a similar quality to that of Chateâuneuf du Pape in the Rhône Valley and its rocky terrain forces the vines to compete with one another for nutrition, creating a wine that is always concentrated and rich. Sound familiar?

The first vintage that was harvested in Mendoza (2009) was left on the vine four to six weeks longer than any other neighboring vintage. It is my understanding that the vintners were not too happy about the decision, but with trust in Woodbridge and his team, they complied. The resulting fully ripened grapes were picked, then sorted and destemmed—all by hand. Highly successful and welcomed into the wine community, I would assume that Layer Cake has continued a similar process in all of their following vintages.

I love everything about this wine—even the label design. It features a logo that is similar to the layer cake Woodbridge’s grandmother would make. And as a graphic designer, I am in love with the raised ink treatment they used (thermography, if you were wondering).

But, even more, the meticulous process and desire for quality is extremely admirable; not to mention, the price is so low! I also enjoy a wine with a good story. There is something about seeing Woodbridge’s grandfather’s words written on the back of this bottle that makes you feel like you are right there, hearing them for yourself. It warms the soul.

Finally, any and all Layer Cake wines I have ever had taste amazing.

Tasting Notes:

This is a medium-bodied wine and could even stand, if not among, near Cabernets. The Malbec in particular is very rich and complimented with a great chocolaty mocha flavor. There are also notes of berry and cherry present, balanced with a bit of spice. Along with a smooth and creamy texture, it seems to take on his grandfather’s perfect description of a layered cake. I absolutely love it!

This wine overall is fun, yet comforting. It’s the perfect Malbec to pick up on your way home or for dinner, or in my case, it perfectly accompanies a long and encouraging talk with my great friend, Tarina.

Winery: Layer Cake

Location: Mendoza, Argentina

Alcohol: 14.6%

Description: Medium-bodied Red Wine

Approximate price: $15.00


Photo by Tony Frantz

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