Gascon Malbec

Name: Gascon Malbec

Type: Red

Grape: Malbec

Origin: Argentina

Year: 2006

Producer: Bodegas Escorihuela Gascon

Price: $9.99

Nice purple color with soft berry aromas, blackberry, blueberry maybe even a little cherry. It has a medium weight mouth feel with mild tannins and medium length finish that is quite tart. All in all not bad but not my favorite Malbec and I’m a big fan of Malbec. I vastly prefer the Catena line of Malbecs.

Wine 4 All Malbec

Name: Wine 4 All Malbec
Type: Red
Grape: Malbec
Origin: Argentina
Year: 2005
Producer: FDL 79232 Prahecq – France
Price: $6.00

I saw a whole line of wines called “Wine 4 All” with very corporate labels that efficiently convey the information one needs. I figure they’ll be all over the place so I picked up a couple to review. This Malbec has a strong aroma of unripe fruit. Whenever I smell this aroma I know the wine won’t be great because that aroma always leads to a similar flavor. No exception here. It doesn’t taste like a Malbec at all, that unripe flavor is pervasive and the wine really has few varietal characteristics at all. I hope the others in the line are better than this.

Caligiore Reserve Malbec

Name: Caligiore Reserve Malbec
Type: Red
Grape: Malbec
Origin: Argentina
Year: 2006
Producer: Llihue S.A.

Price: $10.99

This Argentinian Malbec has a nice looking label and is made with organically grown grapes, which sounds good but I don’t know what the benefit to the flavor would be. The aroma is all plums and roses. The flavor has plenty of berries and a distinct coffee flavor as well as some off flavors that I’d associate with the finish of a Port wine. There is also some astringency accompanying the medium finish. It’s ok but not the best cheap Malbec I’ve had by quite a stretch.

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San Telmo Malbec

Name: San Telmo Malbec
Type: Red
Grape: Malbec
Origin: Argentina
Year: 2005
Producer: Bodega Cruz de Piedra
Price: $6.00

This is a very strange smelling Malbec. It’s a very familiar aroma that immediately took me right back to my youth. I can’t place it exactly though and I won’t name it until I can. My wife says it smells like leather and oak though, since I have to tell you something. It has an interesting flavor too, silky smooth with vanilla and mild berry notes. A very good Malbec for the price. I recommend it, and if you can identify the aroma I’m detecting but can’t name, I’ll buy you a fruit cake.

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Altas Cumbres Malbec

Name: Altas Cumbres Malbec
Type: Red
Grape: Malbec
Origin: Argentina
Year: 2004
Producer: Lagarde S.A.
Price: $8.00

The aroma reminds me of a grilled cheese sandwich, buttered and grilled bread. Of course, there’s also a healthy blackberry smell. The flavor is tart with subtle tannins. Lacking complexity and body, this isn’t a great Malbec.

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Montes Reserve Malbec

Name: Montes Reserve
Type: Red
Grape: Malbec
Origin: Chile
Year: 2005
Producer: Montes
Price: $10.99

The label says that this wine has “brambly fruit on the nose.” I’ll have to look that one up because I’ve never heard of the word “brambly” and it certainly conveys no information to me as a modifier for the word “fruit.” The nose is fruity and so potent that it seems like I’m getting thistles up my nose when I smell it. I decanted this bad boy for about three hours so whatever charms it has, it’s showing me. The initial flavor is so-so but there are some soft tannins and some spicy flavors on the finish. It’s a nice Chilean Malbec, but that’s a small crowd of competitors.

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Los Cardos Malbec

Name: Los Cardos
Type: Red
Grape: Malbec
Origin: Argentina
Year: 2004
Producer: Dona Paula
Price: $7.00

Has a smoky aroma, like scorched leather and jammy fruit. The flavor is of blackberry and it has a spicy and lengthy finish. I’m a general fan of Malbec and although this isn’t a tremendously complex wine, it is tasty and somewhat interesting. If you can pick it up at this price, I’d recommend it.

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Falling Star, Cuyo Malbec

Name: Falling Star, Cuyo
Type: Red
Grape: Merlot/Malbec
Origin: Argentina
Year: 2004
Producer: Bodegas Trapiche
Price: $4.00

I’m always a sucker for a good Malbec. It’s an underappreciated (IMHO) grape common in South America that can be delicious in the right hands. It is to Argentina what Cabernet is to Napa Valley, except it’s a hell of a lot cheaper because most folks don’t know that. This particular wine has a deep hue and an aroma that I can only describe as cherry/raspberry stew. It definitely has the smell of something that has been sitting in a crock pot for a while and it ain’t a bad thing. It has a little bit of acidity that hits you right in the back of the jaw on the way down. It’s a little tannic on the finish, just a peep to let you know it’s there, then it rides off into the sunset with a pretty long finish. To top it off, the bottle comes with a handy screw cap. Anyone who tells you that a screw cap diminishes the wine is just snooty. They’re great. Cheers to the producer, I challenge anyone to find a superior red for less than $4 (?!) a bottle.