By Amy Gross, the VineSleuth
Happy Malbec World Day!
Yep, today is the day to celebrate Argentine Malbec all over the world. (As if we needed another excuse to drink Malbec!!)
I am definitely a Malbec fan. Last fall when I served as a wine judge for the Houston LiveStock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition, I was thrilled when I found out I would be judging Malbecs on my first panel. I was in sipping heaven!
So, now that today is the day, I’ve got a few ideas for you…
2011 Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec
Pick up a bottle of Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec for about $8- $10 and enjoy it tonight over a full dinner or tapas. This is a perfect everyday Malbec with full flavor at a super inexpensive price. But don’t just take my word for it, click over and see what the Reverse Wine Snob had to say about 2010 Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec last year. Even though a new vintage is being offered, his review still stands for this wine.
Watch a Virtual Tasting of Malbecs
Snooth hosted a virtual tasting of Malbec this past Sunday afternoon, but you can watch the replay anytime. (And I suggest you do!) Gregory Dal Piaz of Snooth and Nora Z. Favelukes, a Wines of Argentina Representative, do a great job of explaining Malbec and Argentine culture in a fun, super approachable way.
You might think an hour is a long time to watch a video but, believe me, the time will fly by. To make it even more fun, pick up a bottle or three (or four) of the wines they explore in the video. (There is a list below the video preview.) If you can’t, though, watching the video is still worth it.
Before you go and click to do that, though, let me tell you about two of the featured wines that I was able to taste while watching. They were a bit more luxurious than the Graffigna, and their prices definitely reflect that. So please read my reviews with that perspective.
Sometimes I’m in the mood for a great $8 bottle of wine that tastes more like a $15 bottle, as the Graffigna most certainly is, and sometimes I’m in the mood for a bit more decadence. These wines are for those more decadent days:
- Terrazas de los Andes 2010 Las Compuertas (Single Vineyard) $50
- Dedicado, Finca Flichman 2009 Mendoza $30
While I was watching, I confess I texted my husband, who was kind enough to take the kids to a birthday party while I had the house and tasting to myself, to tell him I couldn’t wait for him to get home and taste the wines with me.
Yes, they were that good.
Terrazas de los Andes Malbec
As I said, both of these two Malbecs were quite delicious and luxurious tasting, but the Terrazas de los Andes really took me. I could smell chocolate and vanilla bean on the nose, which was not at all what I was expecting. In the wine, I tasted a hint of carmel at first, and then the glorious fruit.
The long finish presented the wine’s acidity, making me think the wine would not only be fantastic to enjoy alone at the end of the night (as I did with Gary once the kids were in bed) but also with spicy coppa (as I did during the tasting), or with a bold steak (which I need to do sometime). This wine would definitely hold up with substantial foods nicely, and yet it doesn’t need the food, as some wines do.
I thought for sure Gary would prefer this Malbec to the other, but he instead preferred the 2009 Dedicado Finca Flichman, from Mendoza.
Dedicado Finca Flichman Malbec
The Dedicado Finca Flichman Malbec is a blend of 70% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah. Gary often prefers bolder and more tannic wines than I do, and this one, in my opinion, is bolder than the Terrazas de los Andes, but I still definitely enjoyed this one as well. It got my attention at first sip and held it through the long finish. I tried it again two days later, and it was smoother and more delicious. And, bonus, Gary liked it just as much on day three as he did on day one.
New Riedel Malbec Glasses
No matter which Malbec you decide to enjoy, consider picking up the new Riedel Malbec glasses, created through a partnership between Riedel and Graffigna.
(The Riedel glasses are the ones you see in all these photos.)
You might be wondering if the glasses really do make a difference. I think they sure do. No, it is not imperative to use the proper glass every time, but if you want to experience any wine the way it should be experienced, taking in the full aroma and really letting the flavor shine, using the proper glassware does make a huge difference. And when you are celebrating, don’t you want to do it up right?
I hope you are able to find a way to celebrate Malbec World Day today. If you cannot make it happen today, though, consider celebrating this weekend.
Do you know of a Malbec I should try? Please share in the comments so we can all check it out.
All three wines and 2 Riedel glasses were provided for my review. Opinions expressed are honest and my own.