2009 Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $7.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Winebow Brands International

What They Said:

2009 Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon91 points Wines & Spirits: “Lightly floral and decidedly fruity, this is rich in cherry flavors that give it a fresh, clean air. A selection from organically farmed vineyards in Mendoza, the fruit is pure and direct, with enough tannin for an Argentine asado.” (06/10)

What I Think:

(13.9%) 100% Cabernet Sauvignon – Another offering from the Catena family wine stable this one is dark purple in color turning ruby on the edges. You get sweet red currant on the nose. Full bodied and juicy on the palate with oak emerging on the mid-palate which adds loads of vanilla and layers of soft tannins to the finish. I’m not sure how Wine & Spirits got to 91 points on this one. Perhaps they were having a rough day in the tasting room. That said this is a perfectly drinkable everyday wine at a nice price point. Don’t buy it for the 91 points. In fact forget about them. I bet you’ll enjoy it even more without the lofty expectations to live up to. I know I am going to try that the 2nd time around…

Rating: 12th Bottle

2007 Don Miguel Gascon Malbec

Price: $9.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Gascon USA

What They Said:

guess it is too early to have anything official here….

What I Think:

This all started when Melody asked me to give the La Boca Malbec another try after a lackluster first experience. While out to grab another bottle I came across this one. Though a bit pricey at $10 I decided to try and give it a go. Once home I did a quick search and found that this is part of the famed Nicholas Catena family (thought no mention of it on their site) who has been at the forefront of bringing quality Argentinean wines to the world. That raised my expectations a bit…. Parker gave the ’06 a 90. Expectations still growing…

Then I realized this was a ’07, seems soon for a ’07 doesn’t it? Expectations shrinking…It showed its age with a bit of green on the nose. The palate is that of a typical but forgettable Malbec. This wine isn’t bad by any means and may shine if I haven’t had the wines I have had. But I have and thus there is now way I can recommend this or any other Malbec at Trader Joe’s. As much as I love TJ’s go elsewhere for low cost Malbec. Especially with so many winners easily and widely available. Grab one of these (rank ordered) and you will be much happier!

- 2006 Pascual Toso Maipu Valley Malbec ($9)
- 2006 Terrazas de los Andes Malbec ($9)
- 2006 Alamos Malbec ($8)

Rating: Skip It

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.

José 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