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« Very good/fairly easy meals | Main | Freixenet's Cava Quiver »

31 January 2005

Gascon Malbec: Think Chewy Merlot

Malbec is a lesser known, supporting member of the Bordeaux cast (which prominently features Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc).  The humble little Malbec grape has finally found a starring role in Argentina.  There are dozens of Malbec producers. Don Miguel Gascon, in the Mendoza Valley (see map), produces an entry-level Malbec for about ten bucks. 

Menozaargentina

Gascmalbec03_1The Skinny
Don Miguel Gascon Malbec, '03 ($10)

  • From Mendoza, Argentina
  • Dense, deep purple with a red rim
  • Scents of blackberry, dates, and a sweet spiciness
  • Full-bodied, with noticeable Alcohol concentration.  Baked, berry pie flavors.  Rounded tannins and a simple, quick finish

*** (3 stars out of 5)

Overall, this wine reminds me of a simple Merlot with added heft in the mouth (i.e. it's a chewy kind of wine)

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» Don Miguel Gascon, Mendoza, Malbec 2003 from Red Wine - Cabernet Sauvignon Chianti Pinot Noir
Producer: Don Miguel Gascón Wine: Malbec Vintage: 2003 Country: Argentina Appellation: Mendoza Wine Type: Red Primary Varietal: Malbec Grade: B+/A- Designation: Must Drink Price: $12 Malbec is one of the six varietals officially... [Read More]

Comments

caveman

Argentina seems to have figured how to make this grape a little happier. As the ruling grape of the Cahors region in France, the old Malbec is pretty serious stuff... somber, mean.. like a grumpy old bitter dude. Makes your teeth ache.
Caveman

Lenn

I've had this wine in a couple times (two different vintages if I recall correctly).

Personally, I like heft in my reds...so I've enjoyed them. I'd like to find some Argentine Malbecs with more complexity though...have you had any?

beau

I'll have to look at my notes, but there is one
called, "Tikal," that I had several months ago. It
was a tad spendy - $35 or so. But it did add a layer
of complexity.
--Found it: Tikal Malbec 'Amorio' '02 ($31). This is a big 'ol wine with a soft side to it. I think you would like it.

beau

Caveman -

Thanks for the comment. I failed to mention Cahors. You are correct. I had a Cahors wine several years ago and I remember words like rustic, heft, and burly coming to mind.

Cheers.
beau

Try some of these malbecs my local wine shop recommended: Montelomas, Santos (?), Aleph, Benmarco. We did a Arg/ Malbec night a couple of months ago. These were the far and away winners. And they weren't the expensive ones

Katy from Pomelo Pleasures

I am no expert, but as a person living in argentina and a lover of wine I have to say that these folks love there malbec thick. It makes me feel like I am in some greek classic where the wine was meant to be diluted before their drank it. (Not that that is bad, most people here but ice in their wine anyway because it is so hot-at least in the north)

beau

Hi Katy,
Funny you should mention the ice cube-adding practice. I watched an Argentine film recently and noted some of the characters doing precisely that. At first I thought it was Sangria...but no, it was dry red wine.

Dave

Malbec is actually a grape that produces delicious wine in Argentina. Try the 2006 Las Hormigas, rated 90 by Robert Parker and under 10 bucks a bottle. Delicious!

c

I just tried an amazing new value wine from Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina -- called Belasco de Baquedano Malbec. It's 100-Year Old Vine, but just introduced in the U.S., its website says (http://www.belascomalbec.com). I had the Llama, and there are three others (Swinto, AR Guentota, Rosa rose) all from the same Malbec estate. Have you tried this? What do you think? I was amazed at how low the price is, about $15 for the Llama. Are all Argentine malbecs so excellent?

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Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Though monumental architecture at the site dates back as far as the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 to 900 AD. During this time, the city dominated much of the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily, while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica such as the great metropolis of Teotihuacan in the distant Valley of Mexico.

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