Wine: Finca La Linda Malbec.
Region: Luyan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
In the glass: Finca La Linda Malbec is a deep opaque purplish-red color with a dense blackish core going out into a fine crimson rim definition with high viscosity.
On the nose: There is an immediate whiff of freshly baked cherry pie, fruit tart and blueberry coulis, followed by phenols, red ripe fruits, crushed ripe black plum skins, some herbs, licorice root and hints of sweet tobacco and earth-driven minerals over subtle oak references.
On the palate: If you took a couple of black licorice Twizzlers and dunked them in a glass of cran-cherry juice you will have the approximate effect of this wine right off the bat. There is a nicely concentrated medley of crushed black cherries, blackberries and star anise going into a full-bodied and well-extracted, yet balanced midpalate, all leading to a peppery, spicy cherry conclusion with a lingering licorice finish that lasts a good 20 seconds.
Odds and ends: Argentina is without question the champion of malbec wines. While originally a Bordeaux grape variety indigenous to that region of France, it was “adopted” about 150 years ago by Argentina through French immigrants. It became the predominant grape variety and the “signature” of the entire Argentinean wine industry during the following century. Today, Mendoza is the world’s single largest wine region and malbecs are much loved, especially by North Americans, for their great value and full-throttle experience when opening them to drink. Finca La Linda Malbec is one such wine that delivers serious bang for the buck. Normally it can be seen as a little heavy for this time of the year, but given that we’re all out in the backyards grilling during the summer months, this is just your perfect steak wine. This is from a great vintage, so it’ll drink well through 2015 at least.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at email@example.com.