Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wine Review: 2011 Finca Flichman Malbec Reserva

There have been a few different wines that have really captured a big chunk of market share in the last few years:  New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, Moscato d'Asti and of course, Argentinian Malbec.   Malbec was originally a French grape, cultivated in Bordeaux and in Cahors, a southwestern AOC.   While it has faded from fashion and is used only incrementally in Bordeaux, it still produces a fair amount of wine in Cahors, though this region flies under the radar of the average consumer.

But like the enterprising immigrant, tired of playing second fiddle to his more favored brothers, who left home to strike it rich in The New World,  Malbec has really found its place in the sun in Argentina.  It is Argentina's most famous grape, and their greatest contribution to modern wine culture.   And for consumers, Malbec provides a wine that is bold and hearty, solidly tannic, but with a rich fruit element.  And most importantly, quite affordable. 

Coming in at the oh-so-reasonable price of 11.99, the 2011 Finca Flichman Malbec Reserva shows its relative youth with a pleasant, vibrant dark purple.  It is dry, almost dusty, has a moderate acidity, but as it opens in the glass displays a plenitude of dark fruit.  Medium bodied, with ripe tannins, this is a wine for the dinner table, but by no means austere.  There are enough blackberry and plum elements to keep the tannins in check, and if big wines are your thing, this can easily be enjoyed without a rich or heavy meal.  I paired it with a quick dinner of smoked sausage and Muenster sandwiches on crusty bread, with spicy mustard and kosher pickles.  But it could also be enjoyed alone, provided you like your wine a bit on the muscular side.  

This is classically everything an everyday Malbec should be.  A great example of the breed.  My only complaint is that it seemed to flatten out a bit after it had been open for a longer than usual interval of time.  This is a wine that I don't see benefiting from extended decanting or aeration. 

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