Like the purple peaks of its new world home, this deeply violet 2013 Alamos Malbec shows youth and bounce in the glass. A swirl reveals the wine’s medium body, indicating a somewhat friendly level of alcohol. There’s an explosion of dark fruit aromas on the nose– crisp and juicy black cherry, blackberry, cassis core notes, sweetened with high notes of vanilla and a touch of cocoa. No appreciable earthiness can be discerned prior to taking that first sip. The palate is consistent with the nose, lush dark fruits predominate with highlights of sweet spice. The supple mouthfeel and very smooth tannins are somewhat unexpected, considering the varietal’s reputation, and open the possibilities wide for this very food-friendly wine.
Greg’s Flattened Crispy Chicken Bread Salad serves as a personable partner to the lush and slightly sweet flavors in the wine. The chewiness of the bread accentuates the wine’s weight. The char on the chicken skin provides a flinty, earthy contrast, while the rich fatty dark meat compliments the subtle, slow to emerge tannins. The salad presents enough herbal aromas to bring out the subtle smoky quality in this wine. Blue cheese adds a piquant note to offset all that fruit harmony! This is definitely a case where the sum of the parts exceeds the individual components.
The Malbec grape has also been exceeding expectations lately. Once thought of as a poor man’s Cabernet, the varietal is coming into its own. Especially in the Mendoza area of Argentina. Picture the Andes…what do you see? Snow, right? The combination of high-altitude cool air and the intense warmth from sunlight reflected off the snow allow for longer growing time. The result is more acidity and riper, fleshier fruit. These conditions suit the grape so well that 75% of the world’s Malbec is grown in Argentina. Now’s the time to try Malbec while it’s still such a great value. KEN
Price $13 (suggested retail)
Also pairs well with steak, grilled or roasted vegetables, barbecue and burgers
- Category Red Wine
- Varietal Malbec
- Region Mendoza Argentina