Once you pour it from the bottle the aromas immediately grab your attention, looking at the color and the taste-bud tickling flavors, you immediately realize what a great deal you got in purchasing this wine and that maybe you've sucumed to Malbec-Madness.
This wine made me think of a song entitled the "Fire Within" from the Costa Del Sol Spanish Guitar Collection [which by the way is great music to play while writing or drinking]. A song that speaks so eloquently of the many Argentine wines.
If you're a huge fan of Argentine Malbec like I am, than you're most likely aware of what the folks Wine Spectator are calling the current love affair wine drinkers are experiencing across the board as "Malbec Madness". That's because sales of Argentinean Malbec are going through the roof, folks just can't get enough of these great wines. Thus I must admit, that I to have been afflicted and very happily so, with Malbec-Madness [Muh-wah-ha-ha].
Is it any wonder that Malbecs from Argentina are the QPR champs and folks are lining-up [not literally, but you get the picture] around the block to get their hands on a great bottle vino that cost so little, but gives so much. In a recent article from WS, entitled Malbec Madness, Mr. James Molesworth [Wines Spectator’s lead taster on wines of Argentina] had this to say after reviewing over 600 Argentinean wines in December of 2008, [more than 50% of them Malbec or Malbec based blends] he proclaims that "all the foundations are in place’ for Argentina’s success in the US wine market" which can be found in their November 2008 issue. To which I say in a cavalier tone, "ya-think" ?
This is the wine profile or style we have all been clamoring for and not being able to find, until now.
Wine in the Spot Light: The Flechas De Los Andes 2007 Malbec
The Partnership: The owners of this Argentinean estate [Bodega Flechas de Los Andes] are Laurent Dassault, owner of [Grand Cru] Chateau Dassault in St. Emilion, and Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, with folks like this involved in this project, I was not really surprised at the caliber of this wine, but what did catch me off guard was the tiny price I paid for such great quality. [The whys and how's to be discussed at a different time.]
The Winery: Bodega Flechas de Los Andes is located at the foot of the Andes cordillera, to the south of Mendoza with a Duillet designed winery offering you a wine that is the a pure, top of the range Argentinean Malbec.
Treatment: The wine spent 14 months in 33% new French oak, 33% second fill French oak, and 34% in stainless steel.
The Terroir: The grapes for this wine are sourced from wonderful alluvial soils, which are prized in the world of viticulture, because it often produces grapes with a higher concentration of flavors.
Throwing Sediment: After opening another bottle of this wonderful wine just the other day, I realized after pouring myself a glass that hmmm wow, I nearly choked on the sediment in the glass. I'm as much a fan as anyone with unfiltered wines, but this was a bit overboard. Since this time I didn't have my Centellino Areadivino aerator and didn't use my decanter, boy was I caught off guard by the large sediment deposits filling my glass. It was nearly like having a mug of hot coffee chock full of grounds.
Decant Me: Some folks are going over-board [warning: danger Will Robinson, please decant] on the decant recommendation on this wine, yes this is a big wine for a little price and I do agree further decanting would be helpful. But honestly right out of the gate [at first pour] it's a palate pleasing behemoth, make no mistake about it. So here's what I recommend: Just decant with a screen to avoid the large unfiltered sediment deposits an hour before dinner for maximum enjoyment.
New Release: Well folks the 2007's are long gone, but the new 2008's are out and available most places. For folks who shop at Costco, they have it there in plenteous supply at the moment, but beware this wines reputation precedes it and according various sources within Costco this wine is going fast. By the way, here's a little unadvertised fact about Costco, where purchasing alcohol comes into play. You don't have to be a member at Costco to purchase liquor from their warehouse stores. It's the hot-ticket [buzz] going on in the wine market place and folks are"Going-Gaga" [rightfully-so] over the fantastic flavor profiles from many of these Argentina beauty's of power and finesse, coupled with the amazing price points they are selling at, it's a win/win for the consumers wallet and their palates. Thus we all are being happily inflicted with what many have characterized as Malbec Madness.
Swirly-Swirl: After uncorking the bottle and only using the Centellino Areadivino to decant the wine, I found tilting the glass to the side it had a gorgeous opaque royal purple colored core, fleeing to cerise rim.
Sniffy-Sniff: Giving it a good swirl, my senses are immediately enveloped in this robust Malbec, as it unleashes notes of blackberries, red currants, and blueberry which gets the taste buds watering.
Slurp: An excellent velvety body and a balanced structure finishing with sweet tannins. It will age elegantly but who can resist drinking this now, I dare say I couldn't as I'm relishing each and every sip.
Pairing Partners: The folks over at Malbec Only gave the following tips on what they believe pairs best with Malbec, "be sure you pair it with asado de tira (short ribs with the bone), flank steak, New York steak, or a rich piece of lamb", none of which I wouldn't be happy to have on my plate. On the other hand, I had it with some yummy pre-made hamburgers from Trader Joe's, brimming onions, peppers and Swiss cheese which grilled up ever so nicely, fresh home-made crispy fries and in my humble opinion this wine went freaking fantastic with my chosen pairing.
The Big Brother: What a lot of other wine reviewers don't tell you is that this wine has a "big-brother" the Gran Corte 2006 Flechas de los Andes from Baron Edmund de Rothschild estate in Mendoza. This is what they are calling their flagship wine; a blend that includes 57% Malbec, 35% Syrah, and 8% Merlot. This wine has already received wonderful adulation from the print critics, with average scores topping 94 points and the best part folks, another tiny price, selling for $35 to which I say wow. So much wine, for such a little price or as some critics like to point out another hedonistic wine for the Californian palate. Too which I say "so be it, bring it on."
Where to Purchase: You can pick up this beauty at your local San Diego Costco, where they are selling the 2008 for around a ball-park price of $16 a screaming good deal. I seen other places online selling it for similar prices and some online purveyors selling it 24.99 a price I would have gladly paid as well. If you
only had bought one at the time, like I did and after consuming its absolute wonderfulness, you will like me run not walk to quietly pick up a case or more of this fantastic wine.
What's the Score: I know there are many folks who just want to know the score and move on, nothing wrong with that method of shopping. I gave this wine a score of 95 points on the CCWB 100 point scale. First, because the price point on this wine is so reasonable and two because this wine is like a high caliber rifle, it really makes an impact on the palate, making the QPR off the charts.
Other Voices: Okay so maybe your thinking, "I need another opinion" well here ya go this wine received 92 Parker Points and RP.com had this to say this very good juice: "The Flechas de Los Andes’ 2007 Gran Malbec was opaque, deeply purple-colored, it reveals a brooding bouquet of cedar, espresso, violets, and black cherry. Medium- to full-bodied, on the palate it borders on opulence, with layers of succulent fruit, a smooth texture, spicy flavors, and a lengthy finish. It admirably combines power and elegance and perhaps over delivers in a very big way."
My Recommendation: This is a run don't walk recommendation, so you better hot foot it down to your local wine store and grab a case before they are all gone. The summer grilling season is a few short months away and you don't won't miss out on this fantastic deal. Are you still here? Ummm, what the heck are you waiting for? Get your happy little self out the door, fill up your cart, where ever you can find it and stock up. This wine will not disappoint anyone on any level, you will thank me over and over again. Until next everyone sip long and prosper, cheers!