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Monday, April 7, 2014

Malbec Man Rides Again?

“Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They're hallmarks of a pretentious ass.” – David Ogilvy

Ha, thank you Mr. Ogilvy for that amazingly well put clarification about how to avoid that classification. I will attempt to avoid the use of any of those words in today's article. But if somehow, I just can't avoid it, I hope none of you will judge me too harsly with your comments. That said, if you'd like to opine, please feel-free to deposit it below. Besides I'm saving all my dime store words for another article, so please stay tuned, and remember don't touch that dial!

Welcome to Malbec day, a great opportunity to find out if  Malbec Man will ride again. As many of us already know [and have read] the US Market now drinking more wine than ever before, and especially so when it comes to imports. Personally, I'd be glad to see Malbec-Man ride to save the day once more. How could this be accomplished, well simply by providing budget [$15-$40] conscience, well made wines that could once more become real thirst-slakers they use to be.

So will Malbec-Man ride again? Who is that masked man anyways? Seriously tho, if the wine in today's review is an indicator of a new trend, then there is hope. In the past [not so long ago really] Malbec from Mendoza represented wines with lively acidity, lovely wild blueberries and dark ripe blackberry flavors and aromas, coupled with its inexpensive price profile, it was big win/win for the average vinosapien in search of real bang for the buck.

In general there has been plenty of mouth-filling fruit ripeness, a style often found very pleasing to the "California" palate and that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes you just want a bit of hedonism, I'm guilty of that desire and I make no apologies for it. Many of us know Malbec has a reputation of providing a very good quality-to-price-ratio, this wine below has it spades.

This Malbec caused me to ponder the possibility, can Malbec Man once again ride to save the day? This wine pictured below gives me hope that he can. Just one slurp of the 2010 Lauren's Vineyard, from Casarena has convinced me, that it's possible to once more see authentic, soulful Malbec fill our collective cellars and that brings a big smile to my face.



Casarena Single Vineyard Lauren's Vineyard Malbec 2010


In today's review Malbec-Man can be seen sitting on a high-peak overlooking Agrelo, a small wine-producing village about 20 miles to the south of the city of Mendoza. It's said to be one of this region's most famous wine estates. The village is located in the western foothills of the Andes Mountains, wine-producing zone of Agrelo slopes upward from the town toward the Andes. As many of know may already know, but I think it bears repeating, that height is a key element in what makes Argentine Malbec so special.

It can be said that in many ways that like people, "where you attitude determines your altitude in life" so to the Malbec grapes of Casarena Winery and Vineyards growing on the foothill slopes of the [altitude] Andes [many thousands of feet above sea level] exposed to the sun's greater ultraviolet effects, these grapes grows a thicker-skin [attitude] and with that produces wines with far more aromatics and elegant tannins, much more-so than their counterparts across the pond in Cahors, France.

So are you now left wondering, "um, okay what do you think about this wine?" I'm so glad you asked, In a word, it's quite delectable! Finally a Malbec that I can recommend to my friends, family and other interested onlookers gathered around the wine cooler.

Looking for authenticity, a wine with real soul and substance? This Malbec has it in spades. The 2010 Lauren's Vineyard from Casarena is a true delight, uber approachable, a vein of acidity keeps the abundant blueberry and blackberry fruit in check. And yes it's high octane, tho you'd hardly notice. But those with an overactive sensitivity to any wine over 12% will be easily repulsed by its stated 14.9% abv oh-my. The finish is long and clean, plumbed nicely with vibrant minerality, a real crowd pleaser!

While the suggested price tag of $45 [I didn't pay that much tho] may have you wincing a bit and places you squarely in the 5% club, you'll not regret one moment of the sheer pleasure you derive from one of thee most pure expressions of Argentine Malbec to come along in quite sometime.

Could this wine signal the return of Malbec Man? Actually I'm not sure, but we can hold our collective wine-loving breath, hoping he's about to ride again. Until next time folks, please remember life is short so don't settle for the everyday commodity plonk that so many of the 95% quaff without so much as a thought. So choose wisely, slurp long and prosper cheers!

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