LA PORTENA Light garnet, smells like natural wine, pithy and shallow fruit cheap with flabbiness. An oxidized second chance rolls around in the form of sweet, cheap-zin fruit and translates to the tongue almost exactly that. An attempt at structure starts out and goes horribly awry as a searing bitter burn paralyzes your tongue and all parts connected. C-
2018 LA PORTENA Andean Vineyards Lujan de Cuyo Malbec Mendoza Argentina 13.0 $14SRP
TORREVIEJA Medium ruby, A little moldy, a little musty, a little funky, but headed off into bright fresh fruit land. American oak? Black pepper and a really young bright freshness takes over–this honestly smells several years younger than the one above. Plummy blackberry and briar make me look forward to tasting. Good dense fruit entry, jammed up to the rafters with fairly gorgeous fruit, rich and juicy. Shockingly acidic and quickly morphing to MASSIVE tannins (more American oak?). A little out-of-balance in the finish, but this thing has potential and is not horrible to drink. Solid B wine.
2017 TORREVIEJA Malbec Reserva Mendoza Argentina 13.7 $25SRP
QUARA Funky wet straw, barnyard, stall nuances. Bretty old world loveliness but a bit strong on this lil screwtop showing a bit of garnet around the edges of medium ruby. Gradually, fruit starts piling out of the steaming bowl, but it is a banana-tropical set of melons. In the mouth, calm and worry-free, smooth and rich, a wine you don’t really have to think too hard about until a substantial chunk of black-tea tannin crushes your heart. And a little heat. Pluses and minuses all over the board here, I’m gonna have to go B again.
2018 QUARA ESTATE MAlbec Valle de Cafayate Argentina 13.5 $13SRP
CLOS ARGENTINE Ruddy garnet through and through. A spritzy kinda mulled wine spice introduces the nose. Boiled hotdogs and ketchup preface the fruit, which has a sulphury obfuscation about it, but is rounder and riper than the other three. Rich and lined with tertiary, this one must be a couple years older. Peaty and dense, it has charming features I’m curious to taste. In the mouth, pretty and easy-drinking. Spicy nectarine and plum grind away at pie-cherry and the polish of vanilla. Nothing odd or unusual about this one, quite balanced, a nutty finish showing a little of the aforementioned searing tannins, but kept in check–perhaps only by age. I somewhat like this wine, but it is BORING. B-
2013 CLOS D’ARGENTINE Malbec Reserva Mendoza Argentina 13.5 $42SRP
TENORIO Clear ruby. Big fruity nose. Easily the most fruit-FWD of the 5. Plum, berry, sweet cherry jam, Hi-C grape fruit drink, it fairly exudes pancake syrup and polished fruit in the nose. A bit of briar waddles in late-breathe, casting a weedy element of interest. On the palate, rich and full, still a bit of sweetness bothers me, but I am going to overlook it in favor of good balance. Ripe cherry fruit, acid and tannin in balance. I’m going to give this one an A- even though it is boring and I am concerned about RS. It’s just the better wine. See? I can be objective.
2018 TENORIO Malbec Single Vineyard La Rioja Argentina 13.5 $13SRP