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Wine Review: Jelu Malbec 2008

May 25th, 2011 No comments
Jelu Malbec 2008

Jelu Malbec 2008 Label

This hearty, Argentinean Malbec is quite robust!  Its delightful nose contains pleasing plum and vanilla scents.  The wine itself has prominent spicy flavors–very characteristic of Argentinean Malbecs–as well as those of dark plums, blackberries, and traces of vanilla.  The finish is quite good, lasting well over 40 seconds, and includes satisfying blackberry notes.  This is a wine sure to delight fans of “spicy” and “peppery” wines.  Often found at $12 a bottle, Malbec enthusiasts will want to try this affordable, solid example of a Bordeaux varietal that falls somewhere in-between a Cab and a Merlot.  Though the label mentions this wine is a good fit for “barbecue meat,” be careful of the barbecue sauce you use.  Sweeter sauces will not compliment this wine, but certain pasta sauces and rich cheeses certainly do. Any dish incorporating cranberries, unsweetened or semisweet, also makes a surprisingly good match, as will cashews.  Of course, this spicy red is quite good on its own, so enjoy a bottle of Jelu Malbec 2008 today!

Jelu Malbec 2008

Jelu Malbec 2008

If you’ve been faithfully trying all the wines we’ve reviewed here recently, you may find yourself with a few partial bottles that need storing! We carry a variety of wine preservation and dispensing systems to suit a range of needs, from the casual drinker (try the Pek Preservo for a single bottle–also a great gift!) to home (or restaurant) wine bar (check out the WineKeeper systems). These systems use argon or nitrogen to prevent oxidization of your open bottles.

Wine Review: Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009

April 6th, 2011 No comments

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009

Since my introduction to the Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009, it has become a staple in my home.  I’m always prepared with a few extra bottles in the event of unexpected guests. This Argentinean wine has a beautiful nose of berries, dark fruit, spices, and a trace of violet.  It is nicely balanced and smooth, with an exquisite finish that lingers and delights.  With three months of exposure to American and French oak interstaves prior to bottling, this affordable wine has quite a bit of personality.  And like most Argentinean Malbecs, this wine pairs well with grilled burgers, steak, other meat items, as well as with hearty salads and even dark chocolate! 

Be warned, however!  If you are aging this wine, it is recommended that you drink it within five years for optimal flavor.  This is a wine with a short life span.  The suggested serving temperature is 60° F, though I find it opens better at 62° F.  This is one of those instances where a wine cabinet or chiller comes in handy to regulate the exact serving temperature of this and other wines.  If you’re a big Malbec fan, the Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009 will not let you down, especially given its affordable price!

A Versatile South American Red: Domaine Monte de Luz 2008

February 24th, 2011 No comments

Domaine Monte De Luz 2008

The Tannat grape is believed to have its origins in the Basque region; however, its use in winemaking is associated with the Madrian region in southwestern France.  One of the easiest varietals to grow, Tannat does quite well in South America, Uruguay in particular.

The  Tannat Domaine Monte de Luz 2008 is a very rustic wine with a nose that includes dark berries amidst prominent vegetables with a hint of earthiness.  This very opaque wine’s dark berry flavor opens to include traces of other complementary fruits.

Tannat Grapes

Tannat Grapes (from Wikipedia)

The body is soft, with appropriate weight, and the finish is soft yet slightly acidic with exposed tannins.  Uruguay has been well known for the Tannats it produces, and the Domaine Monte de Luz 2008 does not disappoint.

Though lacking great complexity, this wine is a versatile sipper, making it a great complement to a variety of grilled poultry and even some hearty meats (Steak makes an especially good partner!). And if you’re sautéing onions, try adding a splash (or two) to the frying pan. The Domaine Monte de Luz 2008 even pairs well with spicy dishes, too.  Overall, I am pleased with the variety of food pairings to which this Tannat lends itself.  Having a few extra bottles on hand is not a bad idea!