2003 Fuerza Malbec

This is a guest post from Danny who is a frequent commenter here on the site.  For those that are familiar with his comments you know he often offers in depth reviews of wines.  With that in mind, I asked him if he would be interested in using some of his reviews as posts and he was kind enough to agree.  If anyone else is interested in doing the same let me know in the comments.
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Price: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Viva La Wino “4$ at TJs. First, who can hold and cellar a wine for 5ish years and still sell it for 4$? Seems a bit nuts to me. There’s something a bit lacking about this wine. This wine doesn’t appear to have any new oak. I get a lot of dense, raisiny fruit (prunes), maybe a bit of blackberry, alcohol, and a hint of chocolate. One dimensional, and high in alcohol (15%). On the other hand, this was 4$, and not 15 or 20. D+/C-”

What Danny Thinks:

The Trader Joe’s wine clerk told me he hadn’t tried this, and that it was a one time Trader Joe’s purchase which should sell out fast. I was hopeful, until the clerk said it should be a good example of a Malbec from “Chile”. This muscular wine attacks with both dominating aromas and tastes of uninviting gasoline and sharp rubbing alcohol. A very, very, very modest mix of currant, fig paste and lemon is also overpowered by sour, forward tannins. The finish is aggressive, angular and hot.. As much as I wanted this wine to be good, it is not. If you see this one, save yourself some money and pass on it. I brought my remainder of this wine/bottle back to TJ’s for a refund. I had no desire to exchange it for a different bottle of the same wine

Danny’s Rating: Avoid It

My Thoughts:

Looks like it is 0-2 (0-3 with a late breaking review from idontdrinkwine). Given I am a sucker for Malbec this likely saved me from disappointment. I’ve always wanted TJ’s to have a good Argentine bottle. A little research on this showed that Fuerza is actually made by Laurel Glen though they make no claim to it when discussing their Mendoza offerings. Think I’ll take Danny’s advice on pass on this one. Anybody disagree?

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Thanks again Danny! Who wants to be the next to do a guest post?

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8 thoughts on “2003 Fuerza Malbec

  1. @Jeff Thanks for the heads up on this Malbec as I surely would have grabbed it had you and Danny not warned me away. Still dreaming of the day Trader Joe’s gets a nice Malbec in stock!

  2. @Jeff That Layer Cake was pricey, like $15 if I remember. For that price there are better options outside of Trader Joe’s like this Pascual Toso . As for the La Boca I’ve had a few bottles and it doesn’t get it done for me either. Same for the Terrenal which I never reviewed. Still waiting on that nice $5 bottle TJ’s!

  3. The Layer Cake was only 12$ in Seattle; I’ve had the Pascual Toro (it’s 8$ at Costco by me) and I liked it a lot, but the Layer Cake was something else. It was really good. I think malbec is one of the varietals that might just be outside the 5$ dollar window of “decency.”

    • @Jeff Could be, ala Pinot Noir. My visit to Mendoza suggested there was plenty of good wines to be had in the $6 range, guess they are keeping all that good stuff for themselves!

  4. I’ve never been to Mendoza, but I’ve had similar experiences in Italy and France. Seems like a lot of the “good” cheap wine never leaves because it’s consumed so quickly by the discerning locals. I’ve heard Spain is the same way too. Too bad Napa and Santa Barbara don’t really have the capacity to make cheap wine.

  5. I could not disagree with Danny’s rating any more. What a fantastic flavor for only $3.99. This Fuerza 2003 Malbec is easily comparable to $15. wines I have tasted. The Temprenillo is almost as delicious. Both have a very nice finish with no bitterness. Not for people who do not appreciate bolder wines.

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