drink me

malbec madness

Confession: I don’t love Malbec. I find it gritty, rustic, and can usually find something else on a wine list or in the store that I’d rather have. But I know a lot of people drink it and today is Malbec Day, so in anticipation I went on a quest to see if I could find one I loved. I can’t say I fell head over heels, but I definitely found a few I really liked.

Plus, what I really like about it is that you can find a good one for not a lot of coin – hard to do with red wines. Most of the ones I really liked or at least would consider buying were under $20 – maybe that’s why people drink it so much! The best ones usually come from Mendoza, Argentina, but I was psyched to see a few good ones from the US. Here are my top 10, starting with my fave:

Masi passo dobles malbecMasi Tupungato “Passo Doble”

This is 70% Malbec and 30% Corvina (one of the traditional grapes in Venetian reds), so it’s a bit of cheat that I’m comparing it to pure Malbecs. But whatever – it’s really good! “Passo Doble” refers to a double fermentation used for making the wine.The Malbec grapes ferment for a couple of weeks on their own, then the slightly dried Corvina grapes are added to start the second fermentation.

country: Argentina

region: Mendoza

year: 2011

yum factors: Black Forest cherry. Forest sticks. Smooth.

price: $13 – INSANE. Thought it was going to be way more expensive.

buy it: here and at Whole Foods

graffignaGraffigna Reserve

country: Argentina

region: San Juan

year: 2010

yum factors: Interesting aroma, bright fresh blackberry. Not quite ripe but almost. Very smooth yet good medium-high acid.

price: $11

buy it: here. And, if you buy it you can get 6 of the new Malbec Riedel glasses for only $60.60. Check it out here.

Michel Torino, Don David ReserveMichel Torino, Don David Reserve

country: Argentina

region: Calchaqui Valley, Salta

year: 2011

yum factors: Deep dusty dark blackberry and blueberry – love the smell. Lush. Pine. Earth. Taste isn’t as good as the smell but I still like it. A different kind of cool.

price: $14 – great value for this wine

buy it: here

tolentinoTolentino

country: Argentina

region: Mendoza

year: 2011

yum factors: Fresh black cherry. Hint of pine, menthol. Some dark chocolate. Nice acidity.

price: for $15, this is really good

buy it: here

photo 1Clos de los Siete

Malbec with Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah and Petit Verdot.

country: Argentina

region: Mendoza

year: 2010

yum factors: Dusty blueberry. Lots of dirt, like the kind on your fingers when you’re hiking in the summer. Coffee. Gritty.

price: $17

buy it: here

mckinleyMcKinley Springs

country: USA

region: Horse Heaven Hills, WA

year: 2009

yum factors: Baking spices like nutmeg and cinnamon – love the smell. Tangy cranberry. Red currant. Blackberry jam. Basically smooth, another with tons of acid.

price: $24

buy it: here

septimaBodega Septima

country: Argentina

region: Mendoza

year: 2009

yum factors: Dusty earth and very mild blackberry. Espresso.  Fig cake. Has that  dirty, dusty Malbec mouthfeel. But I like the taste and it’s smooth with good acidity.

price: $25

buy it: here

fritzFritz

country: USA

region: Dry Creek Valley, CA

year: 2010

yum factors: Big bursting blackberry. Black plum. Dusty. Super smooth, but could use more acid.

price: $40

buy it: here

alta vistaAlta Vista

They produce a bunch of Malbecs, the best are the ones from single vineyards.

country: Argentina

region: Mendoza

year: 2010

yum factors: I had the Serenade and the Temis vineyards – both were good but I liked the Temis more. The Serenade is thicker black cherry, inky and dark. The Temis has black cherry and juicy red currant with some violet which is a nice, balancing addition. Medium to high tannin.

price: $41 Temis, $44 Serenade

buy it: here

kentSteven Kent

country: USA

region: Livermore, CA

year: 2009

yum factors: Dusty blackberry. Tiny bit of cinnamon. None of that Malbec tannic grit, very smooth.

price: $50

buy it: here

 

Let me know which are your favorites on Twitter @grapefriend!

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “malbec madness

    • Thanks! A little weighted to Argentina because most come from there, and they’re great values, but I did like a few of the US ones. I think the higher elevation and cooler climate in Argentina make the grape win out there. Cheers!

  1. I, too, am not a huge fan of the Malbec, however, try the Paracombe Malbec from Australia..almost puts the Argentinians to shame…$26 for me up here in alberta…

  2. Just always remember to take care of your liver while you’re doing all of this ‘searching.’ xoxoxoxoxox Mom

  3. Pingback: Trapiche Malbec Special Offer | The Fareham Wine Cellar Blog

  4. Sorry I am late on this post but I had to comment! Malbecs, after all, have my heart ! 😀 They have the perfect combination of character against balanced tannins and just the right touch of oak ! Plus they are flexible enough to woo even you 🙂 from tight tannins to smooth silky ones, from chocolate to spice, they have that “je ne sais quoi’! I feel wrong liking them over the original Cahors though, but they are so much more complex in sunny Argentina 🙂 I had a nice blend tonight, “M Blend” by Alma Negra (Catena family). Bonarda & Malbec! There are mixed reviews but I found it just so juicy, and so very complex, leather, mint, ripe dark fruit, even smoke and ripe but smooth tannins! YUM! 🙂 Also, I LOVE Los Siete and Don David. Not so fond of Graffigna (to straight forward) and Masi (too soft). But hey, that’s just me. The others I haven’t seen but I shall look for them, nice post! Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Marvelous Malbecs! | Peace Wisdom Prosperity

pour out your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s