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:

As many of you know this Bonarda has been generating a lot of excitement in my house as its campaign for “Value Wine of the Year” rolls on. So though I didn’t mention it when discussing the Gewurzt when I came home from sushi last Saturday I had a hankering for a glass of wine before bed. As I already had the white chilling for dinner tomorrow I popped that one open and quickly determined it wasn’t what I was after. So I turned to old faithful. It is amazing the different experiences you can have with the same exact bottle of wine based on surroundings, company, food, and other variables. This was the first time this wine left something to be desired. So I started thinking what was different. The closest I could identify it must be related to not cleansing the palate before sipping this one. I had it without food in the same types of situations and had always been pleased so as far as I could tell that was the only new wrinkle. So Bonarda lesson #1, “Always cleanse palate before switching to this wine.” A few days later when I got back to this wine it was as I remembered it. Light fruit on the nose with a more brooding demeanor on the palate before giving way to a pleasing finish.

 Still yet, though brief, that minor unpleasant episode has inflicted enough damage that I have temporarily, or at least I hope, revoked the “Bulk Buy” rating. On a side note, I am not sure how I intend to continue handling this wine. As I have two cases and intend to be drinking it regularly over the next few months not sure that I am going to post them all and if I do it will be brief. Perhaps I can try to infuse those posting with comparison to other wines I am drinking around the same time. Keep your eyes open as there is certainly more to come. Can this wine reclaim the glory of yesteryear? Try not to let the suspense keep you up a night…

Rating: Buy It

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