WCC Argentine Malbec
at Nicoles's Bistro, Albany, NY (11/2/2006)

The WCC met to taste Argentine Malbecs. The wines were served non-blind in random order without decanting. All wines were purchased locally, except for the 2 Foster wines which were bought by a group member in Argentina. The US price of each wine is given after the name of the wine. The wines were served non-blind because none of us knew anything anyway. I'm not sure how much I know now that I've tasted these. There was little correlation between quality and price to my palate, and because we had such a narrow range of vintages, I still have no idea how these wines age.

Flight 1
With Charcuterie: Country Pate with Rillettes & Saucisson

1. 2003 Bodegas Norton, Lo Tengo, Mendoza ($8)
[100% Malbec] Appealing nose of ripe red fruits, cloves, and orange peel. Thick, tart, tasty. Chewy tannins. 89 points.

2. 2004 Domino del Plata, Ben Marco, Mendoza ($23)
[12% Bonarda, 1% Cab Franc; winemaker Susana Balbo, wife of owner Pedro Marchevsky] Muted black raspberry nose. Smooth and ripe, but biting on the finish. 88 points.

3. 2003 El Felino, Mendoza ($13)
[From the Marchiori Vyd. Part of the Nativo Collection from Paul Hobbs, Luis Barraud, and Andrea Marchiori; 100% Malbec] Nasty chlorine nose. Corked. NR

4. 2005 Bodega Catena Zapata, Alamos, Mendoza ($8)
[100% Malbec] Smoky black fruit nose. Long, clean finish. WOTN for me. Great balance and length. 93 points.

Click on an image with a border here for a larger view of that image.

Flight 2
With Potage au Chou [Napa Cabbage and Roquefort Soup]

5. 2002 Enrique Foster Riserva, Finca Castro Barros, Lujan De Cuyo, Mendoza ($25)
[100% Malbec] Smoky cherry nose. Sweet black fruit and biting tannins. Good balance, but needs time! 91–93 points.

6. 2005 Altos Las Hormigas, Mendoza ($8)
[100% Malbec] Bright fragrant nose of cherries and cedar. WOTF for me. 92 points.

7. 2003 Budini, Mendoza ($9)
[100% Malbec] Muted nose. Ripe, thick, sweet. 88 points.

8. 2004 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Reserva, Mendoza ($7)
[100% Malbec] Biting, fizzy, too much VA for me! NR

Flight 3
With Classic Cassoulet with Duck Confit, Lamb Sausage, and Pork Shank

9. 2004 Pasqual Toso, Barrancas Vyd., Reserva, Mendoza ($7)
[100% Malbec] Huge bright red fruit nose. Big, sweet, tannic. Excellent length and potential. My #2 WOTN. 92–94 points.

10. 2003 Trapiche, Viña José Blanco Single Vineyard, Ugarteche, Mendoza ($28)
[100% Malbec] Big bright red fruit. Thick, but simple. 91?

11. 2003 Bodega Catena Zapata, Catena Alta, Mendoza ($38)
[100% Malbec] Very thick and young. 89–? Points.

12. 2004 Tikal, Amorio, Mendoza ($38)
[100% Malbec; Amorio means Love Affair] Biting, delicious. Sweet finish. 89 points.

Flight 4
With Brie Baked in Phyllo Purse with Poached Pears in Port

13. 2002 Enrique Foster Limited Edition, Lujan De Cuyo, Mendoza ($45)
[100% Malbec] Ripe, sweet nose. Good balance. 91 points.

14. 2003 Luca, Altos de Mendoza ($28)
[100% Malbec] Black cherry nose. Thick, sweet, long, lovely. 92 points. My #3 WOTN

WOTN Voting (3pts each person for #1, 2pts for #2, 1pt for #3)

1182004 Domino del Plata, Ben Marco ($23)
2172002 Enrique Foster Limited Edition ($45)
3122004 Pasqual Toso, Barrancas Vyd., Reserva ($7)
442005 Bodega Catena Zapata, Alamos ($8)
5(tie)32002 Enrique Foster Riserva, Finca Castro Barros ($25)
5(tie)32003 Budini ($9)
5(tie)32003 Trapiche, Viña José Blanco, Ugarteche ($28)
5(tie)32004 Tikal, Amorio ($38)
5(tie)32003 Luca, Altos de Mendoza ($28)




All orignal content © Ken Vastola