Monday, May 17, 2010
For all you red wine fans out there, I have a good one for you. Here is a 2008 Agentine Malbec from the Andes called Terrazas. The first thing I noticed, was the nose of this wine. It is GREAT. It's medium bodied with a nice forward fruit flavor of berries and plums, followed by slight spicy notes, a hint of vanilla, and a round smooth finish with moderate tannin. Did I mention this is a Malbec? This wine rivals many of the great Cab Savs I love and at only $12.99 a bottle, you really can't beat it. I would pair with just about anything. Grilled meats, beef, Italian dishes with tomato sauce, etc.
Over the past 10 years (I'm sure some would argue longer), South American wines, especially those from Argentina and Chile have been gaining steam in popularity and notoriety. One of the fastest growing wine regions in the world, these wines are of extremely high quality, yet afford consumers with surprising value, breaking into the market niche in a major way. The comparison is often made that wines in the $12-15 range from the Southern Hemisphere rival the quality of comparable European and Californian wines costing much more. Another thing I like about this wine is the fact that the vinter is not skimping on quality. Heavy glass with deeply punted bottle. Metal capsules with real 1 3/4" cork closure. Generally speaking, high quality bottling is a good indication that the contents will also be of higher quality.
At the risk of getting slightly off topic, something important for all wine enthusiasts to remember is the importance of experiencing wines from different regions of the world, of different varieties, and of different flavor profiles. In other words, don't always stick to what you know. Avoid the urge to alway buy full bodied Bordeaux reds just because you like that profile. If you want to truly appreciate wine, you have to avoid developing a prejudice in your pallet. If you don't you will judge all wines through a narrow filter. Try tasting dry white wines from Australia and New Zealand for a month, then swap to full bodied Spanish and Portuguese reds the next, followed by California and Oregan Pinot Noir and Zinfadel, then back to German and Austrian Rieslings and Gewürztraminer, etc. Trust, me you'll develop a whole new appreciation.