Tag Archives: malbec

Wine of the week: Terrazas de los Andes

Priced under $20, Terrazas de los Andes 2013 Reserva Malbec is my find of the week!

This inky, medium-bodied red wine offers a strong bouquet of violets and dark fruits that match on the palate with the added bonus of a tobacco finish. Point of note: the Malbec grape is one of the original 5 Bordeaux grapes that have since dwindled on French soil. France’s loss is Argentina’s gain. In fact, this winery uses ungrafted Malbec vines that were planted in 1929. The vines grow over 1,000 meters above sea level.

As an investment wine, Malbec is known for its ability to bottle age, but I wouldn’t know. Although I savored this bottle over the course of a week, it was opened and emptied without a thought of storage. I’ll be on the lookout for more of Terrazas, which is one of the top 25 Argentinian Malbec wines in the U.S., best served with spicy beef, lamb and poultry.

The higher priced wine I recently tasted: a 2015 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc (just under $30) did not thrill me as much as the Malbec. Sauvignon Blanc, or “the wild white” is a staple wine of New Zealand, but this Marlborough version was a bit too sweet for my taste. Perhaps I don’t care for the wet granite sensation mixed with wet freshly mown grass. Maybe this would have tasted better paired with a plate of green olives. I would try it again, but this round left me clouded.

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Three Alamos wines priced under $23

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Argentina’s Alamos wines

We’ll begin with the cream of the crop: Alamos 2011 Seleccion Malbec ($20 a bottle). This is a bottle of wine to savor, and that’s exactly what I did. Over several days, I enjoyed a glass of malbec with a traditional chicken dinner, but this rich, velvety wine is best served with something similarly exotic to Argentina: salad of roasted beets with carne a la masa (marinated beef baked in dough).

The wines of Alamos are a trusted favorite of mine, and I really enjoyed the 2012 Torrontes, perhaps because the aroma of jasmine always makes me happy, or because it’s a great wine to serve with appetizers that include some goat cheese and something spicy. This wine is fruity and different, and is priced at $13, making it an affordable table wine to enjoy or bring to a dinner party as a hostess gift.

Finally, my third Alamos wine tasted: Alamos 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($13) of which you can taste the dark berries and spice. This is a bottle to open after you’ve just took a leg of lamb out of the firepit. It’s a medium bodied wine with a low tannin structure, so drink it now. I enjoyed this bottle with dinner of arugula salad and pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce.

Rockin’ the reds

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Debbie Juergenson, winemaker at Red Rock Winery in California, knows how to lure women to drink her red wines. Just take a look at the website: www.RedRockWinery.com and you’ll see a picture of a woman in a bathtub sipping red wine from a glass. I’m in.

So, with four bottles in tow, over the next few weeks, I sipped — and shared.

Beginning with 2011 vintages, I first opened the Red Rock California Merlot, with grapes mainly from Paso Robles. Some petite sirah is blended in, which adds to the wine’s structure, supporting the fruity balance. It paired well with a traditional meal of garlic roasted chicken with broccoli, celery root and mashed potatoes. Merlot is known to work with chocolate, so a dessert of dark chocolate cake worked quite well. The next evening, a chicken parmesan sandwich worked with a glass of this merlot quite well. It’s all good. And priced at $13.99, as our all the bottles I’ll be writing about.

Next, the Red Rock 2011 Winemaker’s Blend is a concoction of petite sirah, syrah and zinfandel grapes from vineyards in Lodi, Sonoma and the Central Coast of California. The syrah gives this wine a lot of spicy goodness, and the blend of these grapes is perfection. I love blends when they’re done well, and this wine fits the bill.

Ready for 2012 wines?

First, I put a chicken pot pie in the oven with a whole potato to bake. Comfort food, right? Well, Red Rock 2012 Pinot Noir gave me comfort in a taste that brings me home. The jammy red raspberry flavors get me every time, and the slightest vanilla and caramel from the oak barrels takes the cake. For the next night’s dinner, I enjoyed this wine with butternut squash and braised chestnut ravioli. Works for me.

Last, but definitely not least is Red Rock 2012 Mendoza Malbec, which I had served with roasted turkey and the stuff of Thanksgiving sides. I love the richness of the Argentine signature grape, and this wine did not disappoint. Made with 100 percent Malbec grape, even the zondas of Mendoza (that would be wind) didn’t stop this grape’s worthiness. It may have stopped the volume, however, so you may want to grab this bottle when you see one, or two.

Are you ready for that bath now? I know I am. Enjoy!