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Susana Balbo Wine Tasting

Focus on Susana Balbo – Free on Fridays Wine Tasting

Friday, October 27th from 2-5pm – Susana Balbo is recognized as one of Argentina’s greatest winemakers as well as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.  Stop by the store this Friday to sample some of her finest Argentinian reds!

Susana Balbo was Argentina’s first female enologist, graduating with honors from Don Bosco University in Mendoza in 1981.  Today, she is one of the most respected wine figures in Argentina and has been elected three times as President of Wines of Argentina.  The recipe for her success is three core philosophies:

1. Hands-on viticulture – Susana doesn’t just make wine, she is also involved with every detail of grape-growing.  Great wines are made in the vineyard.

2. Sustainable and Organic Agriculture – This method of farming conserves resources and preserves the health of the soil.  It also maintains vine health.  Again, great wines are made in the vineyard.

3. Innovation – She’s not afraid to experiment with new techniques and technologies.  She was the first in Argentina to conduct all of her fermentations in concrete eggs.  The egg’s porous concrete breathes like oak yet allows the wine to develop as if it were made in stainless steel, resulting in a pure expression of fruit with a richer, more complex mouthfeel.

Susana Balbo in her winery.

At the end of the day, her commitment to these principles results in some of the finest wines that Argentina has to offer.  Come check them out this Friday!  Taste, learn, and save big every Friday at Table Wine.

All of the featured tasting wines are being offered at 20% off by the bottle!  All sales must be tendered by the end of business on Friday unless other arrangements are made.  Email us at josh@tablewineasheville.com with questions. 

1. 2013 BenMarco Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina) – Starting in 1999, Susana Balbo crafted a line of wines to showcase the ripe fruit expression of her sustainably farmed Mendoza vineyards. The philosophy is a simple one: grow great grapes and make wines with minimal intervention that are true to their place.  “The nose is really floral and fruit-driven (black fruit), a little spicy and displaying elegance and poise. The palate is vibrant and focused with pure fruit and silky, fine tannins to make it really drinkable. A great Malbec from Uco and very nicely priced.” – Wine Advocate – 92 points
Special Tasting Price: $15.99/bottle

2. 2014 Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon Signature (Mendoza, Argentina) – From Susana’s home estate, this wine easily competes with Napa Cabs that cost twice the price.  “Beautiful dark fruit and raspberry character. Full body, velvety tannins and bright fruit. Pretty and drinkable. A pure and delicious wine.” – James Suckling – 93 points
Special Tasting Price: $19.99/bottle

3. 2014 BenMarco Expresivo (Mendoza, Argentina) – This is the top wine in the BenMarco line, and in 2014, the blend is 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet Franc.  It was #24 on James Suckling’s “50 Best Value Wines Under $50.00” in 2016.  “This is great wine with fabulous transparency and clarity showing blackberry, blueberry and floral character. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a superb finish. 80% malbec and 20% cabernet franc. A wine that gives pleasure now but will be even better in 2020.” – James Suckling – 96 points
Special Tasting Price: $29.59/bottle

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine
828.505.8588
josh@tablewineasheville.com

 

Wine dinner at Corner Kitchen in Asheville, North Carolina.

Argentinian Wine Dinner at Corner Kitchen

ENJOY A NIGHT CELEBRATING THE CUISINE AND WINES OF ARGENTINA! Click here to reserve your seats today.

Join us at Corner Kitchen on Tuesday, September 12th at 6:30 p.m. for a 5-course Taste of Argentina Wine Dinner. Enjoy Argentine specialties such as Brasstown Beef with Chimichurri and Lamb Empanadas paired with delectable wines from Mendoza, Argentina. Chef Josh Chapman of Corner Kitchen will prepare the dishes and yours truly will select the wines to pair with each course.  All wines will be discounted and available to order through Table Wine.

This incredible wine and dine experience is just $103 per person and includes tax and 20% gratuity. Reserve your spot before it’s too late!

Hors d’ Oeuvres
Roasted Pumpkin and Chili Shooter with Crispy Local Pork Belly
Spanish Chorizo & Clams with Roasted Peppers and Aioli on a Crostini
Smoked Trout Mousse on House-made Lavash Crisp with Shaved Apples and Chives
Local Bison Liver Pate with Pickled Chilis, Cured Egg Yolk and Toasted White Bread
Reunion Salta Torrontes 2016
Vina Maitia Valle del Maule Aupa Pipeno 2016

1st Course
Grilled Sweetbreads with Semiila de Calabasa, Garlic Chili Oil, Crispy Plantains and Charred Pineapple Relish
Reunion, Malbec Mendoza 2016

2nd Course
Chilled Pulled Local Chicken Timbale with Mirepoix in Smoked Tomato Broth with Chicken Skin
“Chicharron” and Local Micro Greens
Bodega Atamisque Tupungato Cabernet Sauvignon Catalpa 2015

3rd Course
Oregano Chimichurri Stewed Lamb Empanada with Tomatoes, Local Field Greens Toasted Semilla, Pickled Onions and Drunken Goat Cheese
Bodega Atamisque Valle De Uco Malbec 2015

4th Course
Smoked Short Rib with Crispy Fingerling Potatoes, Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Squash and Cuisson
Bodega Atamisque, Mendoza Assemblage 2012

Mignardises

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine
828.505.8588
josh@tablewineasheville.com

Free Lamadrid Estate Wine Tasting at Table Wine in Asheville North Carolina.

Lamadrid Estate Wines – Free on Fridays Wine Tasting

Friday, June 23rd from 4-7 p.m. – Join us as we pour you 4 splendid red wines from Argentina’s Lamadrid Estate.  Steve Nelson, formerly of The Wine Guy and Earth Fare, joins us to pour the wines and tell the stories.  Steve is now with Grapevine Distributing, and I’m very pleased to have him as my sales rep!

Lamadrid Estate is a lovely, family owned winery located in the Agrelo district of Mendoza, Argentina, long considered one of the best spots in the region for growing grapes.  Founded in 2004 by Guillermo Garcia Lamadrid, the family owns three vineyards in Agrelo: Finca La Matilde (planted 1929), Finca Lamadrid (planted 1973), and Finca La Suiza (planted 2004). Each wine comes from one of these Agrelo single vineyards and only indigenous yeasts are used, with no fining or filtration.  The winery combines a unique mix of traditional and cutting-edge winemaking.  This will be an fun, interesting, and delicious tasting as we’ll let you try both of Lamadrid’s entry level reds (Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon) as well as their Reserve wines.  Taste the wines, learn, and save big on all of the featured tasting wines.  Cheers and we hope  to see you!

All of the featured tasting wines are on sale the day of the tasting: take 10% off if you mix any 3, 15% off if you mix any 6, or 20% off if you mix any 12.

1. 2014 Lamadrid Malbec “Agrelo” (Mendoza, Argentina) – From one of their younger vineyards, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a simple wine. Fermented in American oak and then aged for 6 months prior to bottling, it shows loads of dark and decadent fruit framed by toasty oak. Powerful, yet ripe and smooth, this is a great introduction to the house style.
Tasting Price: $15.29 in mixed 3-packs | $14.44 in mixed 6-packs | $13.59 in mixed cases

2. 2013 Lamadrid Cabernet Sauvignon “Agrelo” (Mendoza, Argentina): From the same vineyard site as wine #1, this is an impressive Cab at a great price.  Fermented in cement vats with indigenous yeasts, the wine is aged for 8 months in those same vats with oak staves added.  The resulting wine is rich, dark fruited, savory and delicious.
Tasting Price: $15.29 in mixed 3-packs | $14.44 in mixed 6-packs | $13.59 in mixed cases

3. 2014 Lamadrid Malbec “Single Vineyard Reserva” (Mendoza, Argentina) – The big difference between the entry wines and the Reserva wines is older vines and longer aging in barriques (small barrels).  Wine and Spirits named this wine their top Malbec of the year!  Rich, ripe, decadent, yet structured, this one sees 12 months aging in new and used French oak.  For those who like wines laced with rich dark fruit and toasty, spicy oak, you’ll love this one!
Tasting Price: $20.69 in mixed 3-packs | $19.54 in mixed six packs | $18.39 in mixed cases

4. 2014 Lamadrid Cabernet Sauvignon “Single Vineyard Reserva” (Mendoza, Argentina) – Like the Malbec before it, this is a BIG BOY!  From some of their oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, the wine sees 14 months aging in French oak.  The result is a deep, rich, and pliant Cabernet Sauvignon loaded with dark berry fruit, hints of earth and spice, and plenty of roasty-toasty oak.
Tasting Price: $20.69 in mixed 3-packs | $19.54 in mixed six packs | $18.39 in mixed cases

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine
828.505.8588
josh@tablewineasheville.com

2013 Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec at Table Wine in Asheville, NC.

95 Point Rated Malbec – Less Than $20

This is legit folks!  I found a 95 point rated Malbec for less than $20!!  The 2013 Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec is an incredible value from one of Argentina’s rising stars.  Typically, 95 point rated wines will run you at least $50 and normally $100+.  Not this one!  It’s on sale through Saturday, February 18th, supplies are limited, and here’s the deal:

2013 Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec — On Sale Through February 18th unless we run out first!

Regular Price: $24.99/bottle

Sale Price Through Saturday, February 18th: $19.99/bottle (20% off) or $18.74/bottle (25% off) on your solid 6-pack

Do I have your attention yet?  There are certainly a couple of factors in play that make this wine extra special.  First and foremost, Vintage 2013 was a good one.  A long and cool growing season allowed long hang time for the grapes and resulted in balanced wines with beautifully developed flavors.  Equally important is the winemaking.  Tapiz hired none other than Jean-Claude Berrouet as their consulting enologist a few years back, and the Alta Collection Malbec is his personal project.  Who’s he?  Jean-Claude was the winemaker at Pomerol’s famed Chateau Petrus from 1964 to 2007.  Let’s just say this man knows a thing or two about crafting world class wines.  Great vintage, incredible winemaker equals exquisite wine!

Just over 2,000 cases of this wine are crafted each year and the grapes come from an estate owned single vineyard at nearly 4,500 feet in elevation.  Aging takes place for 12 months in a combination of new and used French oak.  The resulting wine is nothing less than marvelous.  I’ll be honest, I’m not typically a big Malbec fan, but this one lit me up.  I was struck by the immediacy of the wine — open knit, fleshy, fine grained and possessing a great balance of fruit and complexity, it is one of the best Malbecs I’ve tried in years. I pick up rich notes of plum, cassis, dark cherry, exotic spice, vanilla, and complex mineral.  It is definitely full bodied and full flavored, but the tannin is soft and the mouthfeel is downright silky.

James Suckling felt the same way!  “A soft and silky red with violet, berry and dark fruits on the nose and palate. Full body, fine tannins and a flavorful finish. Extremely well-crafted with elegance and style. Made from high vineyards in Uco Valley with consulting enologist from Bordeaux Jean-Claude Berrouet. 95 points.”   

What else can I say?  Oh yeah, enjoy this one with a big, fat ribeye or with a rich and hearty winter stew.  You’ll thank me!  Stop by and pick some up or email me at josh@tablewineasheville.com and I’ll be glad to hold your wine for you through the end of the sale period.  Cheers and happy eating and drinking in Asheville, NC.

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine
828.505.8588

Try Three For Free Wine Tasting – Focus on Malbec

Try Three for Free Wine Tasting – Malbec lovers unite!!! Saturday, January 16th from 2-5 p.m. – Malbec continues to be on of the top selling reds at Table Wine and it’s pretty easy to figure out why that is the case. The grape tends to combine the full bodied, dark fruited character of Cabernet Sauvignon with the round, soft and opulent texture of Merlot.  This combination of big flavor and smooth and supple mouthfeel is exactly what many wine drinkers are looking for.  Join us as we guide you through a tasting of Malbecs at a variety of price points and styles.  Stop by, taste, learn and save up to 20% off on all of the tasting wines.

All of the featured tasting wines are on sale the day of the tasting: take 10% off if you mix any 3, 15% off if you mix any 6, or 20% off if you mix any 12.

The Wines

1. 2014 Finca Sophenia Altosur Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina) – So much cheap Argentinean Malbec is made a bit like processed cheese………in a factory in large batches with “less than natural” techniques.  That’s not the case here.  Finca Sophenia is a family owned and operated winery and they own all of their vineyards — this is really rare for Malbecs in this price range.  With plenty of ripe dark berries, plums, and just a kiss of oak, this full bodied and supple textured Malbec is perfect for every day consumption.
Tasting Price: $10.79 on mixed 3-packs | $10.19 on mixed 6-packs | $9.59 on mixed cases

2. 2013 Susana Balbo “Benmarco” Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina) – The Benmarco wines from Susana Balbo are always impressive, but the new release of her Malbec is exceptional.  From high elevation, older vineyards situated in sandy, rocky soils, this is serious stuff that sells for less than $20 a bottle!  The Wine Advocate rated this one 92 points and said “(t)he nose is really floral and fruit-driven (black fruit), a little spicy and displaying elegance and poise. The palate is vibrant and focused with pure fruit and silky, fine tannins to make it really drinkable.”  We agree and think you will too!  92 points The Wine Advocate, 92 points James Suckling
Tasting Price: $17.99 on mixed 3-packs | $16.99 on mixed 6-packs | $15.99 on mixed cases

3. 2013 Chateau Haut-Monplaisir Cahors “Tradition” (Southwestern France) – In case you didn’t know, Malbec is actually from France and the region of Cahors specializes in the grape.  This is quite different than versions from Argentina as it possesses more structure and more savory and earthy nuances.  Deeply colored and offering up notes of blackberry, black cherry, meat juices, pepper and damp earth, this is a wine that is perfectly suited to winter stews and roasts.
Tasting Price: $17.99 on mixed 3-packs | $16.99 on mixed 6-packs | $15.99 on mixed cases

2009 Bodega Gratia Malbec

2009 Bodega Gratia Malbec – Mendoza, Argentina

This was the first vintage of Gratia Malbec we ever worked with, and we’re extremely psyched to have it back in the store.  While other local stores are selling the delicious 2011 vintage, we were able to get our hands on some perfectly aged juice that is drinking like a $30 to $40 bottle of wine.  If you’ve never enjoyed a wine with some age on it, this is a grand opportunity to do so.

Asheville-based importer Eric Scheffer is the driving force behind Bodega Gratia.  Scheffer, who also owns Vinnie’s in North Asheville, previously worked in the motion picture and advertising business, and his work frequently took him to Argentina. While there, he met Andrea Marchiori and Luis Barraud, the same team who partner with Paul Hobbs for his Cobos wines.  Eric tasted their wines,  became an immediate fan, and set out to create his own brand with their help.  The rest is history, as the Gratia wines have taken hold in the store and throughout the state.

There are several parallels between the Gratia wines and Paul Hobbs’ Cobos and Bramare wines.  The viticultural and winemaking team are the same, in the form of Marchiori (the vineyard owner/viticulturist) and Barraud (the winemaker), and this dynamic duo is considered one of the most skilled and adept in all of Argentina.  The fruit source is the same as well.  The majestic Marchiori Vineyard, with Malbec vines up to 75 years of age, provides the key component, really good grapes.  At the end of the day, we’ve tasted the Gratia wines side by side with Hobbs’ Argentinean wines and they’re all great wines.  The only difference is that the Gratia wines sell for about half the price!  

The 2009 Bodega Gratia Malbec pours a lovely, deep, dark, opaque color and immediately bursts out of the glass with aromas of creme de cassis, blueberry, black cherry, brown sugar, coffee and dark chocolate.  On the palate, the wine is rich, full, seamless and flavor packed with notes of baked blueberry, raspberry and black cherry followed by nuances of high grade, toasty oak as revealed by notions of mocha, spice box, cedar and dark chocolate.  Terms like decadent, opulent, and hedonistic come to mind!  Tasted blind, we’d give this a solid 93 point score and we’d guess that the wine would hit the shelf at at least $30 a bottle. We would be wrong, and we’re excited to offer this one at an incredible price!

You won’t find the 2009 Bodega Gratia Malbec anywhere else in the country, and our supplies are limited.  You can either stop by, call us at 828.505.8588, or email me at josh@tablewineasheville.com to reserve yours today.  All held wines must be picked up or paid for within a week of the reservation request unless other arrangements are discussed.  We hope to see you or hear from you soon.

On Sale as Long as Supplies Last!

Regular Price: $19.99/bottle

Buy 6 Bottles: $17.99/bottle (10% off)

By 12 Bottles: $16.99/bottle (20% off)

Wines of the Week – Reds From Chakana Estate

“An incredible discovery for me, this winery was founded a decade ago and named after the Southern Cross (“Chakana” is the local Indian dialect for that constellation). It is located approximately 20 miles south of Mendoza in Agrelo. All of these wines are highly recommended, and all are fabulous bargains.”  Robert Parker – The Wine Advocate

Not a bad lead-in huh?  Now, more on the wines.  The first wine is 2010 Estate Selection Malbec, all from the Agrelo vineyard, aged for 18 months in French oak.  It is dark in color and offers up an intense nose of dark berries, violet, mocha and oak spice.  The palate is supple and concentrated, with ripe blueberry, black cherry and plum fruit followed by notes of vanilla, spice box and cocoa.  It will drink well over the next 5 to 6 years. 93 points – Robert Parker 

Regular Price: $25.99
Sale Price: $22.09/bottle if you buy 6
(through 10/16 or as long as supplies last)

The second wine is the 2011 Estate Red Blend, which is composed of 60% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah aged for 10 months in 100% new French oak.  Nearly opaque/purple in color, it displays oodles of ripe blackberry and sweet red cherry along with over the top notes of plum sauce, white chocolate and oak spice.  It should hold up nicely for 7 to 8 years, but why wait?!  94 points – Robert Parker 

Regular Price: $27.99
Sale Price: $23.79/bottle if you buy 6
(through 10/16 or as long as supplies last) 

That’s 15% off and you can mix the two to create your six pack.  

The only rule is that you must mention that you saw this offer via the e-newsletter or the website to get the sale price. 

Mendoza Malbec Madness

Everybody loves Malbec!  At least it appears that way these days in Asheville, as nearly every other person that comes into our store asks where our Malbecs are.  If you are among this crowd of Malbec lovers, you must join us this Friday, as we’re going to sample five of them from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The tasting runs from 4 to 7 p.m. this Friday, July 27 and the cost to taste all five wines is just $5 or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut.

Remember, not all Malbecs are created the same and the style of wine created is heavily influenced by a number of factors, including varied practices in the vineyard and in the cellar.  Come by to try some of our personal favorites this Friday and you might find a new favorite for yourself.

Here’s the lineup of wines we will try:

1. Altos las Hormigas Malbec – This one consistently gets rated out as one of the best values on the market.  It is made by a group of veteran Italian wine personalities and it is a great entry into the world of Mendoza Malbec.  With a nice core of black cherry and blueberry fruit along with notes of spice box toasty oak, it isn’t the most complex Malbec, but it is hard to dispute that it is delicious.

2. La Posta Malbec “Paulucci Vineyard” – This single vineyard wine comes from a vineyard with some age, 37 years of age to be exact.  Aged for 14 months in French oak, it is a serious wine with lots of stuffing.  Long, lush and balanced, it contains aromas/flavors of ripe black raspberry and black cherry along with notions of cedar, spice box and incense.

3. La Posta Malbec “Pizzella Vineyard” – This has been one of the best selling Malbecs in the store since day one.  It is a more structured, angular styled Malbec than the Paulucci which we will try first.  Dense and layered, it displays notes of dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate, tobacco and licorice.

4. Tikal Patrioto – Tikal wines are made by Ernesto Catena, a member of one of Argentina’s most prolific names in wine.  His Patrioto blends 60% Malbec with 40% Bonarda from older vines which are aged for 12 months in French and American oak.  A glass-coating opaque purple color, it sports an enticing nose of Asian spices, incense, lavender, plum, and blueberry. In the glass it opens to reveal a ripe, plush, savory wine with no hard edges.

5. Cuvelier los Andes Coleccion – This is one of the hottest new operations in Mendoza, and we’re going to try it!  Owned and operated by the Cuvelier family, who also own Chateau Leoville Poyferré in Bordeaux (a very highly rated Second Growth), this is the type of wine that would cost you $50+ if it were made in California.  A blend of primarily Malbec and smaller portions of Cab, Merlot and Syrah, it is a dense, structured, rich wine with impeccable balance, volume, and length.

Puro Uno Wines Presented By Frank Baroudi

This will be a very special opportunity to meet a young and ambitious winery owner and taste his wines.  Frank is a California boy who became enamored with wine in college when his roommate’s grandfather passed, leaving behind a huge cellar of incredible wines.  Fast forward 20 years and he is now heading up what my friends on the West Coast say will be the next “Cult Wine” of Argentina.  Frank will be in the store from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 23 to pour his wines and talk to you all about them.  The cost for the tasting is $10/person or $5 if you’re a Grape Nut. 

The wines aren’t cheap, but they are absolutely delicious and this is a great opportunity to taste a bunch of high class, low production wines for a small fee.  This will be a tasting and pre-sell event, and all of the wines will be offered at substantial discounts.  We will open just one bottle of each wine, so I’d plan to get here early if I were you.  We hope you can make it!

Here’s the lineup:

1. Sparkling Brut – 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay from high altitude vineyards in Mendoza, this 500 case cuvée is full bodied and toasty, with lovely apple pie and bread dough notes.

2. Sparkling Rosé – Almost all Pinot Noir, this is really pretty with a nice bead (aka bubble) along with delicate red fruit notes, spice, mineral and brioche.

3. Limitado Quadra White Blend – Super aromatic and beautiful, this is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Torrontes aged in a combination of oak and stainless steel.  Ripe peach, apricot, spiced apple, honeysuckle and on and one.

4. Limitado Quadro Red Blend – It starts to get really interesting here, with this blend of Malbec, Cab, Syrah and Tempranillo.  I love the sparklers and the white, but red is where Puro Uno really shines.  Dark, full bodied and full flavored, this polished red is packed with ripe blueberry, blackberry and black cherry fruit along with nuances of vanilla and spicy oak.

5. Limitado Malbec – We kick it up another notch with the Limitado Malbec, a limited production, super rich and intense Malbec from prime vineyard sites in the Lujan de Cuyo, the prime spot in Mendoza for Malbec.  This one will take your breath away.

6. Gran Reserva Malbec – This one retails for about $140, just like the top wine from Catena and Achaval Ferrer, and I think it’s better.  Worthy of a 95+ point score, this wine is a bit like drinking a really fine vintage Port, but without sweetness.  It’s worth $10 just to come by and try this one.

Friday Winedown – Finca Sophenia

Roberto Luka founded his dream winery in 1997 after spending many years as a wine exporter and marketer of Argentinean wines.  He spared no expense when he founded his winery – a state of the art winemaking facility, prime vineyards, and a top notch winemaking team formed a strong foundation that remains intact today.  The winery released their first wines in 2004 and praise and good press have followed close behind.

We plan to sample seven of the estate’s wines for this Friday Winedown on March 9 from 4 to 7 p.m., but the distributor we purchase the wines from might be out of a few.  Don’t worry, we’ll make suitable replacements if need be.  The cost for the tasting is $5/person or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut.  Here is the lineup:

Finca Sophenia vineyards

I wish we could do the tasting here!

1. Altosur Sauvignon Blanc – Altosur is the Finca Sophenia’s entry-level line of wines and from top to bottom, they offer a lot of wine for not much money.  Their Sauvignon Blanc is textbook, with bright, tangy aromas and flavors of melon, lemon/lime and grapefruit.

2. Finca Sophenia Chardonnay Reserve – This is what I wish more Chardonnays tasted like!  Partial fermentation in oak combined with partial fermentation in stainless steel results in a wine with a clear sense of pure Chardonnay fruit and just a hint of toasty oak.  Ripe apple, pear and citrus can be clearly detected in the nose and palate of this lovely wine.

3. Altosur Malbec – This is the best value Malbec we carry in the store.  It’s less than $10, but it tastes like many of the Malbecs that sell for $15+ with soft tannins, a nice mix of blueberry and blackberry fruit and a touch of spicy oak.

4. Altosur Cabernet Sauvignon – Like the Altosur Malbec, this is a really classy wine for under $10.  Most Cabs at this price point are junk, but not this one with classic Cabernet notes of cassis, blackberry, mint and pepper.

5. Finca Sophenia Malbec Reserve – We’re moving up a notch here, as the estate uses higher altitude, higher quality fruit for the “construction” of their reserve wines.  The result in this case is a Malbec with tremendous depth and balance with notes of ripe plum, blueberry, spice and high quality toasty oak notes.

6. Finca Sophenia Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve – Sophenia’s high altitude vineyards produce grapes and resulting wines with plenty of fruit concentration, but plenty of tannin/acid to balance this out.  This is beautiful Cab with ripe cherry and black cherry fruit framed by ample toasty oak notes.

7. Finca Sophenia Synthesis “The Blend” – This is the winery’s top red wine and it is one of Argentina’s most awarded red wines, but costs a lot less than many upper echelon wines.  It is a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that is powerful and brooding, but at the same time elegant and drinkable.  Bold notes of blackberry and blueberry are met by cedar, spicebox and chocolaty oak notes………..need I say more?

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