2006 Alamos Malbec

Price: $7.99 @ Friend/Gift imported by Billington Imports

What They Said:

Per the winery “The 2006 Alamos Malbec presents a deep, opaque violet color with purple hues. The nose is intense and complex, with ripe black fruits, sweet spice and a touch of violets. The mouthfeel is sweet and supple, with black cherry and cassis flavors mingled with spicy black pepper and a touch of leather. The finish is long and persistent with soft, sweet tannins.

JosĂ© Galante, Chief Winemaker”

What I Think:

A friend brought over a couple of bottles of Malbec when we were making turkey tacos last week. I have been fond of the varietal since having such an amazing time in the Mendoza region a few years back. These wines are generally speaking good from both a taste and value perspective, as these bottles once again proved. If you are interested in traveling internationally one of the few places you can get some bang for your buck is Argentina, at least for the time being. Better hurry!

On opening this bottle you can tell this wine has a no nonsense, straight forward kind of style. The fruit on the nose is strong, dark and very forward, though you can smell some spice and get hints of the dryness lurking in the background. In the mouth you get more of the same, big fruit on the palate that slowly fades before giving ways to hints of pepper and a bit of dryness. The finish is nice and smooth with limited tannins and of decent length.

In comparison to the 2006 Terrazas de los Andes Malbec that we also had this evening it was certainly the lighter of the two, much better immediately after opening and without food. As the other bottle began to get some air the gap started closing and by the end of the night it was a toss up between the two. This leads me to think of this as not a complex wine. The downside, if there is one may be you have to be careful when pairing with food. On the upside this is a wine that is nice all on its own plus there is no need to worry about letting it get air because what you see is what you get. I enjoy having these types of wine around when I have finished a bottle but would prefer to have one more glass before calling it a night. You can pop the cork on this, pour it in the glass and start drinking. This is an enjoyable, easy drinker great to have around for all occasions.

Rating: Buy It

2005 Valentin “V” Malbec

Price: $5.02 @ BevMo imported by Quintessential LLC (retails at $9.99 a bottle)

What They Said:

Per BevMo “Explosive and impressive, the bold, black-fruited ’04 Valentin “V” Malbec is a first-class red wine; packed and long on the palate, this one deserves a big, spicy beef dish.”

What I Think:

Of all the pairs of wine I bought as part of the 5 cent sale this has been the one I experienced the biggest change with from bottle to bottle. Still don’t find it explosive but you do get deep black fruit on the nose and in the mouth where it holds for sometime before fading to a minty, tannic (or should I say peppery) finish. Most Malbec’s I try at the price point, meaning the half off not the retail $9.99, have little of these characteristics that are common in all the finer bottlings. Wish it was at TJ’s I don’t make it to BevMo often enough to take advantage of it, then again at $9.99 I wouldn’t likely want to. Just checked the site again and post nickel sale they have it marked down to $6.99 starting to see how this all works. That makes it buyable but I’m not running. Hope TJ’s gets a good Malbec soon…

Rating: Buy It

2005 Valentin “V” Malbec

Price: $5.02 @ BevMo imported by Quintessential LLC (retails at $9.99 a bottle)

What They Said:

Per BevMo “Explosive and impressive, the bold, black-fruited ’04 Valentin “V” Malbec is a first-class red wine; packed and long on the palate, this one deserves a big, spicy beef dish.”

What I Think:

Yip, 5c sale again. Would have to disagree with the assessment of explosive. This is a ho-hum effort. Drinkable but not memorable. Will try it again with the 2nd bottle soon.

Rating: 12th Bottle

2006 Zolo Torrontes

Price: $9.99 @ Friend/Gift imported by Vino del Sol

What They Said:

Per BevMo “Bright and fragrant, the finely crafted ’05 Zolo Torrontes serves up lots of ripe fruit along with an excellent texture on the palate; long and lacy; great with Tex-Mex dishes.”

What I Think:

Some good friends are looking for wedding wines and brought this one over for dinner. When our first saw the label I wasn’t all that interested as my experience with Torrontes in the past had left much to be desired. Boy was I surprised! This was a really nice wine. A bit sweet in the mouth but it paired very well with the Swiss cheese they brought along. This might be able to fill the role of a Riesling or sweeter Gewurtz as well. I’ll definitely grab a bottle or two of this if I see it.

Rating: Buy It