Malbec on My Mind

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Bin Ends Wine in order to participate in the Wines of Argentina Twitter Taste Live.

Now, I”ll be the first to admit that Malbec doesn’t usually float my boat.  I often find them to be overoaked, tannic beasts that just don’t seem balanced for me.  (And this coming from me, well known to appreciate BIG wines.)  We tried many Malbecs in the course of the Argentina Twitter Taste Lives and I found some that I really enjoyed! Including this one, the 2006 Trapiche Federico Villafane Malbec.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and I see it available for about $40.

I would pay $40 for this.  I found it to be intensely concentrated with complex layers, well worth the price point in my opinion.  On the nose I got blueberry compote, berries in the hot sun right off the bush, pencil lead, spice, dusty tannins, cedar spice, cloves, and chocolate.  In the mouth I found blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, chocolate, spice, earth, smoke, and vanilla cream. Overall, the wine had a juicy quality but with plenty of structure to spare. Like dessert in a glass!

Pie Pie Pie

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Bin Ends Wine in order to participate in the Twitter Taste Live.

Oh yes folks, I promised lots of Argentina and here’s some more! Hope you aren’t tired yet cause I found some real winners among the Argentinian wines, and this is one of them! I have no idea why I never really explored Argentina before for good bargain wines…between Chile and Argentina, it appears South America is primed to take over the bargain $10-$20 sweet spot for wines.  We had another Malbec for the first Twitter Taste Live, the 2007 Bodega Colomé Malbec Estate.  It had a real cork closure and weighed in at 15% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I got blueberry, blueberry crumble, cream, white pepper, crushed violets, black cherry, and boysenberry.  I want my next pie to smell like the nose of this wine.  In the mouth, I found it to be almost Syrah like.  I found black plum, black cherry, more blueberry crumble, pepper, blueberry, boysenberry, earth, and a little anise.  It had a long finish with some tannins hanging out on the end.  YUM!

Diving into Argentina

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample form Bin Ends Wine in order to participate in the Twitter Taste Live.

For the last month, I’ve spent my Wednesday evenings having an affair with Argentinian wines. The theme for Twitter Taste Live all this month has been wines from Argentina.  In the past I haven’t had many wines from Argentina, so I was excited to spend this month getting to know them a little better.  You’ll be seeing a ton of Argentinian wines around the wine blog in the next few weeks as I finally get around to writing my reviews.  The first wine I want to tell you about is the 2008 Bodegas Etchart Reserve Malbec. It had a real cork closure and weighed in at 14% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I got espresso, bittersweet chocolate, herbs, spice, pepper, dark black fruit, plums, apple cider (yea, I realize that’s odd and out of place), earth, cloves, wood. I said in my notes “this smells like Christmas!”  In the mouth I found black cherry, black plum, tart fruit, almost some red fruit on the edges, pepper, spice, earth, and tobacco. The palate on this wine was TOTALLY different from the nose! I enjoyed it though.

Going, Going, Gone!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Macari Vineyards.

I imagine this wine will pretty much sell out in the blink of an eye.  As well it should, it’s a fantastic little summer Rosé.  The 2008 Macari Rosé is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Pinot Noir, and 4% Malbec.  It hails from the North Fork of Long Island where I had no idea Malbec was being grown!  The wine retails for $14.99, had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 12.8% alcohol by volume.  With those stats, and what I enjoyed in this bottle, I’d suggest scooping some up for the hot days ahead!

On the nose I found strawberries, raspberries, spice, white pepper, slight cream, white flowers, and cranberry.  I forgot to mention how I loved the color of this wine in the glass, it poured out as an extremely pale salmon pink color that looked great!  In the mouth I got cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, spice, slight lemon, white pepper, and lime.  Overall, the cranberry really dominated in the mouth, making this a crisp, tart Rosé, with just a hint of a citrus edge that I love in a good Rosé.  Yum!

A Monday Bargain

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Terlato Wines International.

I’m always looking for bargain wines, but even more so recently.  So the wines sent to me from Terlato Wines couldn’t have come at a better time, as all 4 retail for under $15 a bottle. My favorite so far has been the 2008 Tamari Reserva Torrontes which retails for just $10, making it a fabulous deal.  I chose the 2007 Tamari Reserva Malbec for the evening.  You can find this wine online for about $12, it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found the wine to be a little hot at first, but that blew off fast. I’d probably suggest letting this one sit open for a bit before you drink it.  I got aromas of raisins, stewed plums, dark black fruit, chocolate, something green/herbal, some spice, and sage.  In the mouth I found tart fruit, plums, blackberries, cracked pepper, and bramble fruit.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit Malbec is not my favorite type of wine.  However, for $12 this is a good expression of the grape, and could definitely find a place among everyday drinking wines.

Fabulous Malbec

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Bottlenotes.

Quite a while ago, the folks from Bottlenotes contacted me about trying their wine club service. I did, and I wrote up the bottles at various times.  Along the way, I wrote a review of one of the wines that I didn’t particularly like and the folks contacted me again and wanted me to try a different Malbec instead. I readily agreed, and this bottle of 2003 Enrique Foster Limited Edition Malbec arrived.  It hails from Mendoza, Argentina, had a real cork closure, and retails for around $53. Quite frankly, this was an amazing wine and easily the best Malbec I’ve ever had.

On the nose I found red currants, vanilla, clove, baking spice, cinnamon, mulled cider, cherry, plum, and pencil shavings. I found the nose to be incredibly enticing and I wanted to go swimming in my glass.  This definitely turned into one of those ocassions where I still had my nose stuck in my glass while Matt had already moved on his second glass of wine.  in the mouth I got red currants, cherries, licorice, plum, spice, and earth.  The fruit showed as big and red and red. The best was to describe this wine is as a big, bold, knock you down red that has enough going on to keep anyone interested.  The layers of flavors and aromas kept coming and after just 20 minutes in my glass the wine was smooth and fantastic.

Sometimes an 89

Doesn’t actually deserve to be an 89.  And sometimes it does, or maybe it deserves less.  The 3rd wine for the blind Twitter Taste Live for the 89 Project was the 2006 Clos La Coutale Cahors.  It clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, was 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot, and I purchased it as part of a tasting pack from Bin Ends Wine.  This was one of my least favorite wines of the evening.

On the nose I found the wine to be spicy. Specific aromas were pepper, black cherry, sweet oak, raisins, fresh cracked pepper, and a hint of dark fruit, but the wine didn’t really give up much on the nose. In the mouth I got chocolate, blackberries, dark fruit, currants, and some dark cherry.  I wasn’t such a fan of this one.  The blend didn’t really work for me, the nose didn’t excite me, and I just found it to be “meh” overall.