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Great Bargain Wine – Tamari Reserva Malbec 2007

March 26, 2010 - by acorronpower

Bodega Tamari Reserva Malbec 2007 is a wine that all budget conscious wine shoppers should keep an eye out for. It is a big, chewy, concentrated, and quite delicious wine for around 14 bucks a bottle. These days who can pass up deals like that?

This is an excellent example of how good the wine being produced in the Mendoza region of Argentina can be, and often at very affordable prices. Malbec is one of the varietals that they do best as it is a thin skinned grape that requires a lot more sun and warmth than a lot of other grapes, making Mendoza a perfect place to grow it. Mendoza Malbecs tend to be softer and less tannic than some of the typically harsher ones requiring more blending that are grown elsewhere.

Argentine Malbecs are known for starting off powerful, keeping the pedal to the metal in the middle, and then having a relatively short finish. They also tend to have softer, and while I hate using this word in this context, almost sweet tannic structure that makes them approachable and easy to drink young. They are highly quaffable (snooty wino word for ‘this shit tastes great and I can suck it down like koolaid!’) and extremely food friendly. In fact, when faced with a food that I am not sure what to pair it with, Malbec is one of my favorite choices. It is good with BBQ, pizza, burgers, roasted poultry, grilled beef, lamb and even some fish. It is also one of the few varietals, along with Italian grown Sangiovese, that can be paired well with tomato-based sauces.

One of the things that differentiates Argentina’s Malbecs is that the wine makers there like to leave the fruit on the vine even after the sugar content would suggest that it is ready for picking. This “hang time” creates a lusher, more concentrated wine and eliminates some of the vegetal and plum-like flavors that Malbecs from other growing regions are known for. It also makes them a bit more age-worthy than wines from elsewhere.

The 2007 Tamari Reserva Malbec is everything that I expect from a Mendoz Malbec. The color is a rich,  inky, deep red hue. It has a very pleasant nose of cherries, sweet plums, with notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and a hint of black pepper.

The first thing that I noticed when I took a drink was that it was rich and spicy, with a nice silky mouth feel. I was surprised that it had such a well developed tannic structure for a Malbec. The second thing I noticed was the fruit. It was big and concentrated with flavors of ripe blackberries, plum, dark cherries, with some black pepper and just a suggestion of anise that is enhanced by smokey and woodsy notes (maybe even, dare I say it…bacon?). This is a big, chewy, almost rustic (in a very good way) wine. Just what a Malbec should be.

I look forward to trying a bottle of this with some food. The only thing I had with it was some crusty bread dipped in some good, seasoned olive oil. As tasty as they were together, I think that it will be a good match with a lot of other foods. Oh, and did I mention that it is only around $14 a bottle? That is a steal for a wine this tasty.

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