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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2010 La Finca La Celia Malbec - A $3.99 Malbec worth at least $4.50


$3.99 from Trader Joe's.

From the bottle:
The vineyards of Finca La Celia lie in the foothills of the Argentine Andes.

Stunning purple color. Its bouquet is intense, rich in blackcurrant, vanilla and spices. On the palate the soft and succulent ripe fruits follow through with a surprising delicacy. The tannins are silky, coming subtly from the forefront and giving a lingering finish. This wine has been aged in oak barrels for 3 months.

This is a wine to enjoy with meat dishes and pasta with meat and tomato sauces.

13% alcohol
I originally bought a bottle of this wine at the end of last year, at which time it came with the purple and black label. Sometime early this spring the label switched to the white version; however, pretty much all of the info including the upc code is the same, with the primary exception of the line in italics noting the 3 months in oak barrels. I didn't drink the bottles at the same time, but the wine appeared to be unchanged, and if it was changed, it didn't affect my rating, as I rated both the same. On to the rating then...

I put off tasting this wine for quite awhile (thus the change in labels) as I have not had good luck with Malbec at Trader Joe's as of late, but I have to say, it surprised me a little. The nose is a bit mossy/grassy but also has some berry and a whiff of vanilla. This is a pretty simple wine, with some black cherry and blackberry flavors and light tannins. There's no harshness at all and is fairly smooth. There's nothing objectionable here, but there's also not a whole lot of anything. The 2010 La Finca Malbec would be a good wine to serve to occasional wine drinkers, but won't satisfy anyone looking for a bigger, more complex wine. It exceeds expectations for a $3.99 wine, but not by a huge amount (thus the $4.50 joke at the top of the post.) However, the low price definitely helps its rating and allows it to just eek out a buy rating.

Also, I'd be careful about future vintages on this one. Looking at the notes on cellartracker.com the quality of this wine appears to vary quite a bit by vintage, and can be quite miserable, so buyer beware when the 2011 vintage arrives.

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Taste Rating: 6              Cost Rating: 10
Overall Rating: 7.0

All ratings use a simple 10 point scale with 10 being the best. Find out more about my rating system here and check out the Interactive Wine Ranking to find all my reviews! You can sort by type of wine, cost, rating, etc. in the interactive spreadsheet.



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