This wine for your weekend recommendation was originally going to be non-alcoholic alternatives for times you can’t indulge. Why? Because this Sunday is my marathon, and so I haven’t been drinking (with the exception of a glass of wine for girls’ night) as I taper for the race. Then, we were invited for a Memorial Day weekend, post marathon, “Somm Night” featuring various Malbecs. Thus, a Malbec feature is in order!
Josh and I just recently finished a bottle of Malbec that I’ll call “interesting” during the “Game of Thrones” finale. This particular bottle was listed in my ‘What’s on the wine rack?’ post a few weeks back: Chento. I stand by everything I wrote about Chento the first time.
A bronze medal winner of wines from Argentina, Chento is 100% pure Argentinian Malbec, best served decanted to smooth out the strong oakiness present on the first pour. After being allowed to breathe, that oak flavor becomes an undertone to a rich fruit aroma and flavor. If you like a “spicy” wine, this is an excellent choice with a complex spicy streak that lasts from the first sip through the finish. There are also some earthy tones through the finish. Some call it tobacco…others leather…I just think it’s earthy, like a minerality that keeps this wine on the dry/tart side of the spectrum rather than sweet/supple.
And will extra emphasize the fact that we did not distill it long enough before our first glass, and the oakiness was almost what I imagine as chewing on a wood chip. It was pungent, almost bitter, and took almost an hour to really even and smooth out.
Still, Chento was a good Costco wine find, and a good bottle for the value, so this week we head back to Costco for one of their most highly reviewed wines of 2019: Colomé Estate Malbec. This is a high altitude Malbec, with a percentage of the grapes coming from the highest altitude commercial vineyard in the world. High altitude exposes the grapes to more sunlight and less UV protection, which in turn makes the grape form a thicker skin, with a denser fruit center that concentrates both flavor and acidity.
This is a new offering at Costco, and we haven’t gotten around to opening a bottle just yet, but it’s fabulous winemaker’s notes suggest we’re in for a treat!
The 2016 Colomé Estate Malbec begins with a really succulent aroma of purple fruits, lovely lavender and excellent touches of spice, vanilla and mint. It only takes one sniff to know this is going to be good. The wine tastes savory, meaty, delicious and tannic. It features lots of rich dark berry fruit with plenty of spice and black pepper and a bit of a creamy texture in the mouth. Add in good acidity and some streaks of minerality and this is officially fabulous stuff! Hints of tobacco, chocolate and vanilla linger under the long, dry finish of dark fruit.
Admittedly, our Malbec Somm Night will feature three wines that we’ll taste blind and are selected by a single member of our group, so this weekend may or may not feature this particular wine, and if it does, I might not know until after the fact! Stay tuned for a round up of the wines that we did sample…provide I can stay awake and lucid. Not going to lie, after 26.2 miles in the morning, it won’t take much Sunday evening to be feeling it. In fact, at 15% abv. it won’t be taking anyone much of 2016 Colomé Estate Malbec to bring on the buzz.