Gabe's View

Wine: Reviews, Thoughts & Culture

Astica – 2010 Malbec / Falling Star – 2009 Malbec

Posted by Gabe on March 6, 2011

Everyone is always on the hunt for values, and these days it seems that’s truer than ever. Argentina is a country that has been providing value driven wines for a long time now. Seemingly at every conceivable price-point there are wines to be had that over deliver on what you spend. When it comes to red varieties, Malbec is a great source of diversity and value. There are a myriad number of Malbec styles and designations from all over Argentina in a wide array of prices. Over the next month or so I’ll be looking at a diverse array of Malbecs. Today I’ll start with a couple that will fit into any wine budget.

First up is the Astica 2010 Malbec. This wine was produced using fruit sourced in the Cuyo region of Argentina. The fruit for this release was hand harvested. This 2010 Malbec has a suggested retail price of $5.99.

A big and immediate whiff of vanilla bean opens the nose of this Malbec. Raspberry, cedar and a touch of eucalyptus follow. Cherry, plum, and raspberry notes are part of the palate with both fresh and dried fruit characteristics playing a role. Towards the finish the fruit flavors take on a fleshy feel and they’re joined by continued vanilla, hints of cranberry and white pepper. This wine has good acidity and is made for enjoyment in its youth when all of the appealing upfront fruit flavors are at their peak.

Today’s second wine is the Falling Star 2009 Malbec. The fruit for this selection was sourced in the Mendoza region.  Half of the fruit was fermented at high temperatures while the other half underwent traditional fermentation. This offering is 100% Malbec and has a suggested retail price of $5.99.

Dark jam fruit aromas as well as toast and vanilla are part of the nose on this 2009 Malbec from Falling Star. The palate of this wine is incredibly juicy with super appealing black fruit flavors. Blackberry pie and blueberry are of particular note. The finish has more than reasonable length for a wine in this price-point. The dark fruits continue and they’re joined by hints of clove and white pepper. This is a sturdy Malbec with lots of crowd appeal. BBQ season is fast approaching and this wine is an excellent one to have on hand for your own entertaining as well as to bring to a friend’s house. For less than $6 a bottle it’s definitely a bargain and a wine you might want to consider a case buy on. It has more flavor, depth and value than similarly priced “critter wines” that aim for a similar spot on your wine rack. Consume this wine over the next two years to get the most of its youthful bravado.

Both of these wines are fine examples of the value available in entry level Malbecs from Argentina. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. Stay tuned as I continue looking at a variety of Malbecs over the next handful of weeks.

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