Monday, May 04, 2009

Stylish, Affordable Malbec

Stylish is one of those wine words that critics use in all sorts of ways. When I describe a wine as "stylish," it doesn't mean that the wine is trendy. Instead, it mean that the wine has classic flavor profiles with all the right accessories--in terms of aromas and aftertaste--to convince you that you are drinking a well-made, varietally-correct bottle. It has to have complexity, a certain charm, and of course it always helps if you can get it for a great price.

I found just such a bottle in the 2007 Diseno Malbec. (suggested retail $12.99; available for $8-$19) It had abundant aromas of blackberry, black tea, and flowers. Right away I was taken with the wine, given the complexity of the layered smells wafting by my nose. There was bright blackberry fruit in the center, with nice acidity that cried out for food and gave this wine a lot of lift. The aftertaste had deeper, darker notes of black tea, tobacco, and violet to keep it all interesting from one sip to the next. Excellent QPR.

Malbec is terrific with grilled steak and some traditional sides like baked potatoes or french fries. This would be a great wine to have on hand if you are preparing your grill for the first trial run of the summer. The wine has enough acidity to hold up to most anything you have to accompany your steak, and the rich flavors will pick up every nuance in the grilled meat.

Full Disclosure: I received this wine as a sample.


Carol said...

I'd forgotten about Diseno - thanks for the reminder! We enjoyed it and stocked it once upon a time and I agree that it's a great buy. I'll have to look for it on my first post-baby wine buying spree :-)

Unknown said...

This sounds great! We had our wine tasting group over on Saturday night and tasted 4 different Chilean Cabernets, all excellent, all less than $17. We'll have to build on the Latin American theme with this Argentinian Malbec.

Our write up is at

Bryan said...

I really enjoyed your review on this Malbec and I curse the wine gods everyday that I live in Ontario and have to live by what the LCBO decrees I should drink. I was wondering if you had to time to recommend another quality Malbec that is available in Ontario