Thank goodness (and Argentina) for the frequently delicious reds made from the Malbec grape. Malbec still makes superb wines in the French region of Cahors, due southeast from Bordeaux on the Lot River. But for quality at relatively low prices, Argentina rules. Today’s example, a bit pricier than “everyday,” makes the under $20 category a superlative buy. It’s Bodega Ruca Malen from the Mendoza region, and it’s their “Reserva” bottling. With grapes grown at over 3,000 feet in altitude, they show remarkable depth yet early suppleness. I believe you’d be impressed.
2014 Ruca Malen Malbec Reserva $19 srp
Deep garnet to ruby in color. Hauntingly deep nose of smoky, leather-laced fruit. Elements of woodsy blackberry, black currant, cedar and pepper join in the complex bouquet. Flavors are medium-bodied, balanced and fresh. Freshly turned earth and mountain spices accompany the ripe fruit on the still slightly gritty finish. (A characteristic of a fine young wine.) Lamb, shish kebab and mushroom-based foods will meld well with this. Drink now-2022. Excellent value.