2007 Elsa Malbec Mendoza, Argentina

SKU #1036693

A vineyard-designated wine for under $10? It's possible with Valentin Bianchi's Doña Elsa Estate in Rama Caíida, San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina. Situated at around 760 meters above sea level, Rama Caíidas's sandy calcareous and alluvial soils contribute to the wine's richness. Fresh and fruit forward, the Elsa has aromas of the ripe plum and violets continue through to the palate. Weighty on the palate, the wine is still surprisingly light, with silky tannins this wine is delightful and the perfect accompaniment to richer, fatty fishes like salmon, pork and beef. One of Bon Appetit's picks for "Great Bargain Bottles": "Argentina has become known for its big-value Malbecs: Here, blackberry and plum flavors are matched by a spicy finish." (01/09)

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Price: $7.99
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- These days if you're drinking a Malbec it's probably from Argentina. The most planted grape in that country, varietally-labeled Argentine Malbecs are one of the wine market's great values, prized for their slight herbal component and dark, luscious fruit. Structurally, Argentina's Malbecs are much different than those grown in the grape's native France; they are riper, fruitier and fleshier. In France, the best iterations of Malbec can be found in the Cahors, where it can be quite decadent. It is also planted in the Loire Valley, where it is called Côt and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Gamay, and in Bordeaux, where it has fallen from favor in many of the region's great blends because it is difficult to grow. In the United States, the varietal is frequently added to Meritage wines - Bordeaux style blends - but it is rarely found on its own.


- Argentina is regarded as one of the most dynamic wine-producing nations in the world, and possibly the most important wine-producing region in South America. Only four countries in the world produce more wine than Argentina. Considerable investments (much of which has come from famous French, Italian and California wine producers) have been made in new vineyards and winemaking technology in the past several years, which along with recent plantings of more premium varieties of grapes, has made Argentina much more competitive internationally. The Mendoza region is the most important region in Argentina's wine industry. And Malbec, among other Bordeaux varietals grown here, reigns supreme.