If you are anything like me you love a good bargain. That is exactly what I found recently when I was browsing the “Chairman’s Selection” offerings in my local P.L.C.B. store. El Esteco Don David Reserve Malbec Calchaqui Valley 2016 was on sale for $9.99. Quite the bargain when you consider it has received a 91 point rating from James Suckling (June 2017) and 90 points and a “Smart Buy” from Wine Spectator (February 2018) plus several medals at international competitions.
This medium-bodied 100% Malbec displays flavors of blackberry, black cherry and plum with an oak undertone, all in a well-structured wine. Surprisingly smooth tannins and a finish with a hint of chocolate rounds out this high altitude Argentinian Malbec.
It is no secret that I am a fan of Goulart Malbec simply because they consistently market a quality wine at a fair price. Bodega Goulart Malbec Clasico 2010 doesn’t disappoint on either of those points. The deep red color of this malbec proves to be an accurate prelude to flavors of red fruit carried in a firm body that displays a friendly structure. The surprisingly smooth tannins are held throughout a short finish. I.W.C. gave this offering an 88 point rating. It would be hard to find a glass of comparable malbec for less than the $11.99 a bottle price at P.L.C.B. stores or the even lower prices that can be found online.
The 2010 vintage of Goulart’s “The Marshall” Malbec keeps this winery’s tradition of giving us a good Argentine Malbec at an exceptional price alive and well. This vintage will not disappoint the followers of “The Marshall” because it checks all the boxes that has made this wine a perennial favorite. If you are looking for a fruit forward wine with cherry and berry flavors this is not the wine for you. “The Marshall” has fruit but it is dark fruit that is integrated into the body of the wine. This classic Malbec has mid-range tannins contained in a firm structure that is carried from start to finish. The aroma is one of spice and there is oak to spare for those who prefer an exotic oak component in their Malbec. Malbec is a perfect pairing for grilled meat, especially beef, so if you are planning a cook out be sure to grab a couple of bottles of Goulart 2010 “The Marshall” Malbec to enjoy with your meal. This wine has been rated 88 points by Wine Spectator and 87 points by International Wine Cellar. P.L.C.B. stores are currently offering this wine as a “Chairman’s Selection” for $13.99 Product code 33356.
Cruz Andina Malbec Mendoza 2007 $19.99 Wine Spectator 90 points. Cruz Andina Malbec 2007 is a huge full-bodied red with flavors of black fruit and ripe cherries with tannins to spare. I ran it through an aerator and it opened up allowing its complexity to shine.
Renacer Punto Final Malbec Mendoza Reserva 2010 $16.99 Wine Spectator 90 points. Ranacer Punto Final has the classic profile of a Malbec from Argentina but it is carried in a medium-bodied wine instead of the more robust full-bodied wine that you would expect. This Malbec may have a lighter body but it packs its taste palate with all the dark fruit and plum flavor that you would expect from a Mendoza winery. Pair it with beef, either roasted or grilled.
With the holidays fast approaching I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone, including myself, what the true belief of this blog is. The essence of what I want to relate is that many lasting memories are made when you share quality time with good friends and loving family over a glass of wine. This and the next two posts will highlight three Malbec that are highly rated and fairly priced. All three will pair well with grilled or roasted red meat or even a hamburger because it won’t only be turkey and stuffing for dinner until New Years Eve.
Urraca Malbec Mendoza Argentina Vineyards 2008 $17.99 Wine Spectator 90 points. This wine has all the traditional qualities that come to mind when you think of a Malbec from Argentina. Urraca Malbec 2008 is dark and full-bodied with intense flavors of concentrated blackberry and plum along with lots of oak to round out this classic Malbec. I would recommend using your wine aerator or swirling it in your glass to open it up.
This wine is an excellent example of a well made Malbec, it displays good body along with both red and black fruit flavors at a reasonable price. A glass of this Malbec can be equally enjoyed and savored with food or alone. I will be taking the advice of Dave De Simone, author and restaurateur, who suggests using your emotional reaction to a wine to describe its character and unique personality. My descriptive feelings about Achaval-Ferrer Malbec 2011 would be agreeable, pleasing, appetizing, rich and vigorous. Wine Spectator gave it a rating of 92 points in 2012 and it is available in P.L.C.B. stores for $29.99 but can be found online for under $25. This is a solid Malbec and worth the price.