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Le Chevre Noir
Cashel Blue
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Until the 1980s, this inky, powerful black varietal was mostly used as a blending grape in the Bordeaux region of France to help punch up the body and color in poor vintages. Recently it's gaining international acclaim of its' own in Argentina, where it is their most important red varietal, especially in the Mendoza region. You will occasionally see single varietal bottlings from American wineries as well, though they're pretty few and far between. Those numbers will most likely rise as Malbec becomes more famous and popular. If you're looking for a flavorful wine that will stand up to your steak, this is it. Most are fairly inexpensive ($10-$20 range) and made to drink young, though some of the pricier versions have the backbone to age. Currently, Malbecs deliver some of the best quality for the value on the market.

WHAT TO EXPECT: A full-bodied, deeply-colored wine with medium-high tannins. The character on the nose and palate is of violets, black fruits, cherry, tobacco, earth and occasionally hints of chocolate with a velvety texture on the tongue. Most are oak-aged in some form, though it's not an obvious componant of the wine sometimes adding vanilla and smokey notes.

spacer.gif2006 Diseño Malbec, Mendoza, ArgentinaRATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Luca Malbec, Mendoza, ArgentinaRATING: ***
spacer.gif2006 Tapiz Malbec, Mendoza, ArgentinaRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Dona Paula Los Cardos Malbec, Mendoza, ArgentinaRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Melipal Reserve Malbec, Mendoza, ArgentinaRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Renacer Punto Final Reserve Malbec, Mendoza, ArgentinaRATING: ***
spacer.gif2004 Terza Volta Malbec, Mendoza, ArgentinaRATING: **

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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