2008 La Finca Malbec

Price: $3.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Americal Beverage Group

What They Said:

2008 La Finca MalbecPer the bottle “The vineyards of Finca La Celia lie in the foothills of the Argentine Andes. Stunning purple color. Its bouquet is intense, rich in blackcurrant, vanilla and spices. On the palate the soft and succulent ripe fruits follow through with surprising delicacy. The tannins are silky, coming subtly from the forefront and giving a lingering finish. This is a wine to enjoy with meat dishes and pasta with meat and tomato sauces.”

What I Think:

Long a sucker for the wines of Argentina I have waited endlessly for Trader Joe’s to deliver me a knockout in the super value category as there are an abundance of very pleasing wines available in the $8-$12 price range. But the list of wines that has disappointed me is long and distinguished; La Boca, Terrenal and Fuerza roll readily from my tongue. Could these La Finca offerings change the tides of history? It started off positive with a mention of not only a winery but the website for Finca La Celia. Granted, I had never heard of the winery but for many Trader Joe’s offerings I can spend quite some time trying to determine exactly who it was that made the wine in the bottle. In this case someone was proud that they were behind this one. As I browsed the site it became clear that maybe “proud” wasn’t the right choice of words as there was no mention of the “La Finca” offerings to be found. But hey at least they were willing to admit it! Let’s see what the wine had to say about itself…

Quite a build up, followed by quite a letdown. Hey, I wanted to share my real life experience with this bottle! Surprisingly light in color, really hot on the nose with hints of white pepper. The palate has some berry flavors on top of a highly acidic backbone that holds on through the the finish. This wine shows no varietal correctness and at best is innocuous. Looking at the bottle the 12.5% alcohol content confirms my suspicion that this is much lighter than your ordinary Malbec that typically clocks in at 14-15%. By the way, La Finca is also offering a Cabernet, steer clear of that one as well. Nothing special here.

It continues to puzzle me that Trader Joe’s can’t deliver on my favorite red value varietal. Look like I’ll be stocking up on the Pascual Toso again soon…

Rating: Skip It

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11 thoughts on “2008 La Finca Malbec

  1. Yeah. Totally agree. This one is bad. What’s even worse is the 09 Cab from this label. You think the malbec is bad? You ought to try the Cab. It will make you think that this is DRC.

  2. Ah….Trader Joes – why can they procure such great food offerings and completely fail so miserably and so long in the wine department…..? Either carry good stuff I can get cheaper at my local wine store or completely foregttable, marginal wines that no one should buy at any price.
    In the 10+ years of shopping there I can count the number of memorable wines purchased there on one hand. On that note – you should review the Perrin & Fils Reserve CDR that is available currently at 6.99 – $1 cheaper than my local wine store and this wine is GOOD! Not one of Trader Joe’s proprietary “finds” (thankfully), just a great bottle of wine at a great price – why can’t TJ do this more often……? If I am missing something here please get out your TJ “buy” lists and show me the light……otherwise find out who the wine buyers are at TJ and lets get them on this blog to explain WTF they are thinking……

    • Based on your other comment it sounds like you have found the Top 10 list. Hope you find something there that can “show you the light” or at least a shed of it…

  3. Yes I too keep hoping for a decent (daily drinker) Malbec from Joe’s – just opened the La Funca – very nice color!
    but ugh….what is with the finish? soapy dishwater? it’s terrible –

    keep up the great work guys – love the site!

  4. I’m with you on this one Jason. Since I don’t have a TJ in my town, I has a surprise opportunity to stop by one on a recent trip. Didn’t have a list, but I recognized the name LA FINCA from your review. Unfortunately I forgot that you said SKIP IT. So I picked up a bottle. Mistake. But I have to say my tastes must be less refined than many. At least 12 of my favorite wines are less than $6 at TJ.

  5. @runaway: Unfortunately a LOT of our customers are focused on consuming quantity at a low price rather than quality. It also depends where you live. Jason & I are extrememly fortunate to live in Northern CA where many times we have wines the rest of the country doesn’t get. I haven’t worked my way into the supply line quite yet, but I’ll pass along your comments.
    Look to our Imports section and Private Labels for the best Quality to Price Ratio. All of the VINTJS and Trader Joe’s Reserve (Gold line framing words)labels that I’ve had so far have been tasty and I’ve personally bought for my own home.
    Give me an idea of the kinds of wines you’re looking for and what you’d be willing to realistically pay and I’ll send that along as well.

  6. “adventures….of a professional consumer”? ROFLMAO !! You guys have your nose so far in the air I’m surprised you can taste anything. For years I have “tested” wines from all over the USA and all the major wine countries worldwide, from “$2 chuck” to over $50 per bottle.
    I am strictly a cab man, and everytime I drink LaFinca, I am amazed the quality taste is only $4/bottle. It easily beats $15-30 bottles.

    Maybe you should come down from your elitist loft and join the real people. Oh…excuse me, your from CA, that says it all.

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