A Passion For Malbec

A couple of months back I was pleasantly surprised to find an email from my big brother asking whether The Wine House carried any malbec from Argentina and what I knew of them. Since emails from my big brother come infrequently and my family rarely asks for my advice, wine or otherwise, I was quick to write back. Mainly I explained to him about this remarkable relationship malbec has with the high elevation vineyards of Argentina. Historically grown in France, malbec plantings have been declining significantly there. Its presence remains in the Loire and, of course, in the famous reds of Cahors. However it’s another matter in Argentina where malbec thrives. Widely planted, this is a vivid example of the great synergy between grape varietal and climate, a.k.a terroir. When properly vinified malbec can be a juicy, fruit-forward, charming wine. I concluded to my brother that The Wine House in fact sells a dynamite malbec, but unfortunately it was sold out. The malbec I had in mind was Alberto Furque’s malbec from Mendoza’s Uco Valley (the vineyards are 3,000 feet in elevation). The Wine House is now on its third vintage of this passion-inducing little number, but because it gets snapped up by a prominent and popular restaurant group in the Bay Area, we never get the chance to shout too loudly about this wine; in the door, out the door. Well, we finally got wise to this predicament and made sure to order extra this time. I am so glad we did because I think this is the best malbec from Furque to date! So listen up big brother- it’s finally here, I’ll gladly make the delivery!

Tasting Notes:
An eye-popping ruby red color gets the senses revving up. Expressive aromas greet the nose reminiscent of bing cherries. Lots of black cherry, plum and cassis fruit on the palate with an ever so slight note of black licorice and green herb; after all this is malbec, not syrah or zinfandel! The tannins are fine, the body is medium-weight, and the texture is sweet and persistent. This is wine for immediate pleasure, no need to lay it down, just pour and enjoy. It is no wonder this is such a wine-by-the-glass success at restaurants as it is ready to go and eager to please.

Not a crafty type by nature, I spent a lovely week preparing homemade Valentines with my daughter. I forgot how soothing it is to cut heart shapes out of pretty paper. It was a relaxing diversion from the “quick, whats gotta be done next” mindset. And so when I go home tonight this Valentine’s Day, even though my under-the-weather sweetheart won’t be greeting me with a finely prepared gourmet meal,as is our Valentine’s Day ritual, I’ll be doing just fine. I’ll have a glass of the passionately intense 2007 Alberto Furque Malbec to jazz up my dinner, read “Scooby Doo’s Valentine Mystery” to my daughter and hopefully watch a movie from beginning to end with my sneezing husband at home in our love nest. Now that’s a good Valentine’s Day! I hope yours is too!! Anya

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2 Comments

Filed under Anya Balistreri, Argentina

2 responses to “A Passion For Malbec

  1. Simon

    Where did you get these photos from? They’re pretty good! You shouldn’t copy other people’s pictures without at least giving them credit for it.

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