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Wine of the Week: Trapiche Malbec

Wine: Trapiche Malbec

Grape: Malbec

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Vintage: 2014

Price: $4.99

Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquor

In the glass: Trapiche Malbec is a semi-opaque deep violet-red color with a deep purplish-opaque core going out into a saturated, slightly tinged-red rim definition with high viscosity.

On the nose: The wine reveals freshly crushed bright black fruit, loganberry, creme de cassis, rustic notes of cherry fruit, ground black plum skins, exotic spices, violets, minerals, licorice root powder and phenolic components.

On the palate: There is great concentration of cassis fruit with lots of creamy crushed black fruit, especially cherries and blackberries, then marionberries, huckleberry sauce, minerals and vanilla bean notes. The midpalate has a lovely balanced play between solid fruit, fine acidity and ripe tannins with underlying hints of sweet cassis and oak. The finish is plentiful, with good amounts of fleshy fruit concentrate and herbs and minerals that linger for more than 15 seconds.

Odds and ends: I have long touted the wines of South America and I keep finding these great values at our local wine retailers. This one is no exception.

Trapiche is one of Argentina’s oldest and biggest wine producers. Under the guidance of world-famous wine consultant and enologist Michel Rolland of Bordeaux, France, Trapiche makes inexpensive, delicious wines.

Resident winemaker Angel Mendoza is no slouch when nurturing good malbec grapes to producing classic concentrated fruit. But his association with Rolland has given the wines an extra dimension.

Malbec is one of Bordeaux’s original permitted grape varietals, but has largely been dismissed there. Ripening was always problematic and it wasn’t produced in the desired concentration. Once planted, grafted and cultivated in Argentina, especially the Mendoza region, this grape varietal reached its full potential. It now delivers great fruit and yields nice wines.

Trapiche Malbec is a killer value at less than $5. Try it with a charbroiled piece of meat such as tri-tip steak. Drink it now through 2018.

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

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