Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Familia Grittini Areo Malbec 2009

Many Argentinian Malbecs continue to impress me and this $9.99 version from a little known region of Patagonia called Neuquen is a sure everyday winner. It took me quite awhile to find a website associated with the winery as it's name does not appear anywhere in the url. The Areo bottling was not listed anywhere and the importer's website (Simone International) offered no information either. Oh well, this region to the south of Mendoza, Argentina's leading wine producing area, is cooler and supposedly produces wines that are "more European" in style then those from the warmer climates to the north. I had my doubts when I noticed the 14.6% alcohol listing on the label as that kind of ripeness usually says "new world" to me.

Indeed, this wine is boldly fruited and large scaled and has everything you expect from a wine from this side of the Atlantic. To it's credit though, it also presents a measure of complexity you don't usually get at this price point. Big aromas of chocolatey cherry and coffee are prominent along with secondary notes of clove and earth. In the mouth, it's fairly full bodied with dark red fruit flavors and lingering spice notes on the finish. It hides it's high alcohol well with just a hint of heat on the back end.

Fans of the style will find a lot to like here and it's low acid flavors went well with grilled swordfish with pasta and a sauce of tomatoes, eggplant and mint. This fantastic recipe is from a friend and fantastic chef, Jack Kreitzman, whose San Francisco restaurant Jackson Fillmore Trattoria is a spot you should definitely check out when you visit the bay area. It's home style Italian cooking at it's best and at affordable prices. Cheers.

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