Malbec shootout: Kaiken, Gascon, Clos d’Argentine

2 01 2017

Today we pit 3 malbecs in the $10-12 range against each other in a blind taste test conducted in our clean room laboratories in an underground bunker which have been meticulously designed to replicate my friend’s house. These malbecs are from from Mendoza Argentina (of course) and they are:

  • Kaiken Reserva, 2015:  Total Wine, $12.19
  • Gascon, 2015:  Total Wine, $12.19
  • Clos d’Argentine Reserva, 2013:  Costco, $9.99

The Kaiken hits you with a very big, full “mouth feel” borrowed from a more expensive wine. It has some

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tiza malbec review

27 10 2013

Here’s a 2012 malbec from Mendoza, Argentina available at Total Wine for $20.

Tiza malbec is rich, inky black in your glass, and immediately Read the rest of this entry »





Cruz Alta reserve malbec review

2 09 2013

Today we check out a 2012 malbec from Mendoza, Argentina that I bought at Total Wine for $14.99.

As we close the summer of 2013, malbec has been a hottie among reds in the U.S. for a few years.  And rightly so — appealing dark red or even purple juice with conviction, malbec from South America has a subtle sophistication about it that belies its usually affordable price.  It can lack complexity, but that’s forgivable in the $9-$15 price range where it is often found.

This reserve malbec doesn’t do much of anything wrong. Read the rest of this entry »





Cruz Alta reserve malbec: Tale of Two Vintages

9 05 2013

This is a quickie review of a malbec from Mendoza, Argentina which sells for about $15.

The 2009 Cruz Alta reserve malbec is a very welcome reprieve from today’s California reds.  It tastes real.  Fresh.  Juicy but deep and dark, and not too sweet.  A perfect Read the rest of this entry »





Cueva de las Manos reserve malbec review

5 02 2012

Today we check out a 2009 reserve malbec from Argentina.  Its price ranges wildly from $10 to $19 online – I found it at Total Wine for $16.

Wow, malbec has really taken off.  Not taste-wise, but popularity and price-wise.  I’m normally very, very impressed with South American red wines, for their price.  At $16, I expected this Mendoza reserve to blow my head off.  Instead, it’s “good” — a pleasantly mild aroma, with a taste that is more tart, blackberry-flavored tobacco and black pepper than it is juicy.  It’s also a sort of manly wine — aggressive, mouth-drying tannins abound.

Even though Cueva malbec isn’t a value monster, it is plenty good enough at $16 to recommend.   And, it has a cool name, to boot.

Recommended.





Fabre Montmayou Barrel Selection malbec review: KICKASS

22 04 2011

Fabre Montmayou Barrel Selection malbec reviewToday we review a 2009 malbec from Argentina that costs $16.

  • HEY!  I think you’re going to want to try this rich, dark, dense, medium-bodied, blackberry-licious malbec.
  • 1.   First, malbec is the new merlot.  I mean, pinot noir.  (Or at least, it was a year ago.) 
  • 2.   Second, if you don’t try it, I’m going to say blackberry-licious again. 
  • 3.   Third, Fabre Montmayou is only $16 at the fascinating Veritas Wine & Spirits, at Wilmington DE’s riverfront. 
  • Bottom line, this is one of the best affordable malbecs I’ve ever tasted.  I hope you’ll give it a try, and leave a comment letting us know what you thought.
  • Recommended.




Tilia malbec review: keep it simple

4 03 2011

Today we check out a 2009 malbec from Mendoza, Argentina that cost me $8.

I first had Tilia at a restaurant.  It was a cheaper red, among a collection of overpriced, mediocre labels — that was not a great sign for Tilia.

But I tried it, together with pasta in a spicy red sauce, and really liked it!  It’s very juicy, fairly deep and dark, and most importantly at such a low price, it does nothing wrong (unless you like your wine bone-dry).  To test the bar effect,** I tried it at home, and it held up:  for only $8, Tilia is a no-brainer that you will enjoy with a burger, pizza, that pasta and red sauce, or by itself.  Not much complexity or tannins — just a simple, dark-fruited and easy-drinking red that has more to offer than your usual Yellow Tail / Barefoot / etc. 

Plus it’s a malbec, which is all the rage these days, so it’s a great choice to bring to a party.

Tilia malbec review

Recommended.

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**The mysterious “bar effect” often makes a wine seem captivating, original and wonderful when you’re out among the bright lights and beautiful people, only to disappoint gravely when you drink it at home in front of the kitchen sink.