Wine of the Week: Skyline Malbec

Wine: Skyline Malbec

Grape: Malbec

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Vintage: 2012

Price: $3.99

In the glass: Skyline Malbec is a deeply opaque blackish-red color with a dense inky-purple core going out into a fine light violet-red rim definition with medium viscosity.

On the nose: There are earthy berry notes, with crushed brambleberries, ripe sweet Bing cherries, phenols, licorice root, loganberry fruit, black currant juice, black root fruits and slightly rustic, yet fruit-driven minerality with hints of new oak and spice rack.

On the palate: The wine attacks the palate full on with supple, yet concentrated cherry liqueur, liquid black licorice, chewy black currant drops, “hot” spice elements, and fruity plummy and jammy fruit with underlying minerals. The midpalate is very concentrated with lots of black fruit and phenolic compounds, going into a long ripe finish that again reveals licorice, black cherry liqueur, raspberry coulis and some woodsy notes.

Odds and ends: Just in time for the early holiday season, I came across this almost-too-good-to-be-true deal, which is going to be so perfect for the dinner celebrations later this month. Many people will have spent a great deal of time, effort and certainly money on presents and other holiday treats, so this will be a welcome value surprise for everyone.

This is a great modern-styled Argentinean malbec that usually is quite reasonably priced at $9.99, but here and now, it has been slashed and is available for only $3.99 and at this time of the year, right? It is an absolute killer deal, and this wine will please to no end at both dinners and as house-gifts alike. Not much to consider, but grab it by the case and yes, it is several times better quality than “Two-Buck Chuck,” so a real no-brainer.

I have often extolled the virtues of the great malbecs of Argentina and how they have carved out a real niche in the red wine category, not just because they are good sturdy and full-bodied wines, but also because they always deliver a great bang for your buck and go so well with winter-type cuisine. This Skyline Malbec is from the great Mendoza viticultural area that nearly always delivers these sturdy red wines and I am again totally amazed how it can get into U.S. retail at less than $4 per bottle. Try it with any meat for this time a year, such as a great medium-rare roast beef. Drink it through 2015.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at