Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bodega Luigi Bosca Malbec (2007)

When I review wines, I have mentioned the fact that I do not buy wines for the label, but for the grape or the terroir.  Well, recently, I bought a wine because of the label.  There was no swirl of colors or eye-catching images.  What caught my eye was the word "Malbec," along with the phrases "single vineyard," and "Denominacion de Origen Controlada Lujan de Cuyo." 

Malbec is one of the six grapes that can be used in the blending of Bordeaux wine.  However, Malbec is becoming increasingly popular not because of its use in Bordeaux, but in the production of Malbec wines in Argentina.  Indeed, Malbec is considered by many as the wine of Argentina.

The phrase "single vineyard" means that all of the grapes used to produce the wine come from one vineyard, as opposed to several vineyards.  Many winemakers produce wines with grapes from more than one vineyard.  However, after learning about Oregonian Pinot Noirs, many of which are single vineyard wines, I have learned about how much better a wine can be when all of the grapes come from a particular vineyard. 

And, as for the phrase, "Denominacion de Origen Controlada Lujan de Cuyo," it is the similar to the designations of Denominazione di Origine Controllata in Italy or the American Viticultural Area in the United States.  According to the winemaker, the D.O.C. Lujan de Cuyo was created in 1989 to protect and regulate the Malbec wines produced in the region.  The winemaker claims that the D.O.C. protocol is the "most demanding" in the world, although I had some difficulty finding the requirements of the D.O.C. as it pertains to the growing of the grapes and producing the wine. 

Luigi Bosco produces this wine with Malbec grapes from its La Linde vineyard, which is located in the Vistalba estate outside of Mendoza, Argentina. The wine is aged for fourteen months in French oak barrels and then another year in the bottle. 

The wine pours a deep purple in color.  According to the winemaker, the wine displays ripe cherries and plums, along with mocha and blackberries.  For me, the aromatic elements of the wine are full of earth and spice, with some cherries and plums in the background.  The wine is very fruit forward, with the cherries, blackberries and dark cherries overtaking the earth and spice, which follow through in the finish.

The winemaker suggests pairing this wine with red meat, as well as partridge, quail or turkey.  Another suggest is pairing this wine with hard cheese, such as Sardo or Reggianito, two hard Argentinian cheese.  These may be hard to find in the United States, so you can substitute with cheese such as Pecorino, Parmigiano Reggiano, or Grada Padano.  I paired this particular wine with the dish Nicaraguan-Style Churrasco, which was a good pairing.  The fruit in the wine's flavor helped to round out the vinegar and garlic flavors of the Nicaraguan chimichurri sauce. 

This is a very good Malbec wine, perhaps one of the best Argentinian Malbecs that I have had to date.  This wine is available at Whole Foods Market for about $19.99 a bottle. 


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