100% Malbec from Neuquen Valley, Patagonia, Argentina.
SRP of $13 and available for as low as $8. Sample received courtesy W. J. Deutsch & Sons for review purposes.
From the bottle:
"Exploring South America is one of our passions. Not content to continue growing grapes in the same regions we always have, we set out more than two decades ago to explore new lands, curious to see how different soils and climates would affect our favorite wine varieties. We found that Patagonia's cool, dry climate, large temperature variations and complex soils were perfect for Malbec, producing a deep ruby-coloured wine, with rich, smooth blackberry flavors and vanilla aromas. Our wines from Patagonia are named Ruta 22 after the main route used to travel from East to West through Argentina.
Patagonia is known for extremes. Extremes like glaciers, for example, as Patagonia is believed to have originally been a part of the Antarctic continent. Or extremes like only 1 inch of rain per year in some areas, including where today's wine is from. Add to that the huge temperature differentials and unique soils and you've got a challenging place to maintain a vineyard. The good part is that all these things actually add up to very flavorful grapes! And of course, this is not the first Malbec we've reviewed from Patagonia. If you remember, we also enjoyed the Familia Grittini Areo Malbec very much as part of our Malbec Mania! series.
The 2010 Ruta 22 Malbec begins with aromas of blackberry, licorice and lots of dense spice. Tasting this medium-bodied wine shows the same flavors as the bouquet with a great interplay between the fruit and spice components. The spice intensifies on the dry finish and combines with sweet fruit notes that together last a long time. It's actually not all that common that the flavors from the bouquet stay the same all the way through to the finish, but that is exactly what you get with this wine, and it's quite good.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.