Wine Talk

Snooth User: wlstiles3

First Malbec

Posted by wlstiles3, Jul 16, 2010.

Just tried my first Malbec.  Trapiche Oak Cask 2008.  Was really good.  Carmenere, Malbec, Cabernet, Merlot, what's not to like in South America.  I'm not sure that South America isn't my favorite wine region.  Too much wine, not enough time.


Reply by Kimberly H, Jul 17, 2010.

You know, if you haven't tried them, some of Susana Balbo's Malbecs are very good, and reasonably priced. The Susana Balbo Malbec 2008 received 91 points from Wine Spectator, and retails for around $23. I discovered her wines at a tasting about a year and a half ago, and now I search them out whenever I'm in a wine store!

Reply by Angelgirl1982, Jul 17, 2010.

I don't know that I've ever had a Malbec.  Is it similar to cab?  How much was the bottle you tried?

Reply by Kimberly H, Jul 17, 2010.

I think of Malbec as Cabernet's smoother, easier-to-approach cousin. : )  It's dark, medium- to full-bodied wine. The bouquet can be berry-chocolate-smoky, and it's smoother than most Cabs I've tried.  If I'm out to dinner and I want a good wine to match with steak, but don't want to drop the bucks for pricey Cabernet, I go with a Malbec, which will usally cost way less than the equivalent well-made Cab. For about $15 or less retail, you can find bottles from good Malbec producers like Altos Las Hormigas and Alamos. These are usually widely available


Reply by GregT, Jul 17, 2010.

Angelgirl - short answer is no, not really.  It's actually related to cab sauv and at one time was a big part of Bordeaux, but when they replanted, they replaced most of it.  It doesn't ripen well and gets mold.  But it had already been taken to the new world and it found a home in Mendoza, Argentina, where they don't have the same problems as Bordeaux because it's drier and higher.

I'm drinking a malbec right now actually, from Washington.  When ripe, it's often got chalky tannins but also a plummy note with hints of menthol.  But in places like Cahors or the Loire or Touraine, if it doesn't get ripe, it's pretty rough. 

Incidentally - South America isn't a wine region!!!!  It's a whole continent.  The governments make the economies so bad that we in the US can often find cheap wines from many countries, but each country has a different disfunctionality to account for the prices.


Reply by wlstiles3, Jul 18, 2010.

I know South America isn't a wine region.  But, with Chile and Argentina producing such solid wines at such nice prices, I tend to lump them together into the improper term.  Angel, the Trapiche cost me 12 bucks.  A great example of QPR in this region.  I agree with Kim's description.  Greg, have you toured Argentina or Chile?  I probably will never get the chance, but would really like to take a trip.

Reply by Lucha Vino, Jul 18, 2010.

I like the Altos Las Hormigas too.  It is a good full bodied wine for 8 - 12 dollars.  I thought the palate had the characteristics of cranberry, black cherry and cola with hints of pepper.  The Malbecs from Argentina certainly seem to have a really good QPR.

Reply by Mr Lee, Jul 18, 2010.

When I'm not drinking Tuscan red wines I am certainly drinking Argentina Malbecs. My favorite is really the Dona' Paula Malbec. It's a deep ruby red, silky smooth, new world style, complex, smoky, nose of cherry, rasberry and spice and a nice easy finish. Pop, Tip and Sip it. Cheers!



Reply by Waddy123, Jul 20, 2010.

With so many varieties of Malbec out there it is sometimes difficult if you are just starting out choosing a bottle. What I would say is that generally, regardless of the winery, many if not all Malbec  become exponentially better once they have been allowed to breathe. Now I know this seems like commen sense with nice full reds, but with Malbecs, like St Emillions from France, the taste smoothes a great deal after just a few minutes. 

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