2005 Amaicha Bonarda

Price: $1.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Goldschmidt Vineyards

What They Said:

Per Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer “Amaicha wines are named after a small village in the northern Argentinean province of Tucuman. “The indigenous people of this town have a special reverence for what they call Pachamama, or Mother Earth, and they celebrate their admiration for the earth’s goodness with both festivals and a way of life that respects the elements around them – Earth, Moon, Sun & Water. That respect extends to the cultivation of the grapes that are used to create Amaicha wines.”

Amaicha Bonarda “is a red wine that originates in Italy, but is actually the most widely grown grape in Argentina. It produces a lush, medium-bodied wine with ripe plum and blackberry flavors. This one’s terrific for cocktails and equally appropriate for serving with pasta or even meatloaf.”

What I Think:

This wine showed up at Trader Joe’s sometime later in the year in 2006, in my pre-blogging days. As I had a few bottles of this when visiting Argentina earlier in the year I grabbed a bottle. I must have let it sit for a while but when I got around to opening it I was extremely impressed. Upon returning to TJ’s and finding it out of stock it appears others were as well. So when heading out shopping to get some more Rocking Horse the other day I turn the corner and low and behold, what do I see? This wine is back on the shelves, not sure if it is the same vintage or not, and grab two bottles. At this price you can always cook with it if need be.

Before we get to the tasting notes I did some investigation on this bottle. First off the grape, it hails from northeastern Italy’s Piedmont region and has a Croatian lineage. It is most similar to Barbera and is the most widely planted grape in Argentina. It is known for making wines that are generally light, fruity, and immediately drinkable. Another note on this bottle is that it says that a portion of the profits are used to build schools in the region where this wine is grown. I couldn’t afford to hire a private detective but after growing the grapes, harvesting them, making the wine, bottling it and then shipping it to the states how much of my $2 can be left as profits?

I didn’t want to make the same mistake as last time so as soon as I got home I popped the cork. And I was not disappointed. On the nose there is a nice mix of fruit and barrel aromas. On the tongue it starts with light fruit over a drier backbone. As it moves to the mid-palate the dark fruits, brambly berries, come to the front before finishing with a light coat of tannins. A bit on the lighter side this is an excellent quaffer and perfect for any red wine foods! For $2 this is a steal. I’ll be right back; I’m going to get a case.

Rating: Bulk Buy

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