My good friend Cosme came over last night to open a bottle of 'something' before he went out with his wife. It was he who nurtured my budding interest in wine, and the two of us who instigated what has become our formidable 'Vinuous 11' tasting group, which in turn was the catalyst for this blog. I should also note that he was the supplier of two of the highest scored wines ever scored on this site. So, for this visit I needed something impressive, but I also wanted to showcase something he would never buy - expensive Argentine Malbec.
Tonight's wine came from Bodega Catena Zapata, which is one of the best quality winemakers in Argentina (highlighted previously in a Great Values piece). Their entry level wines are the Alamos line, the mid range is the Catena line, while the Catena Alta wines are their premium selections - I have tasted a number of their varietal wines, red and white, from all of these labels, and they are always a great experience.
For my good friend I served a premium Catena selection, the 2000 Catena Alta Malbec Angelica Vineyard, a wine that has been sitting in my cellar for a few years waiting for a perfect evening. Dense, dark purple in colour, with just a hint of ruby at the edges, it looked impressive just sitting there in the decanter. An attractve nose of dark chocolate and mint, blackberries and leather, it was beautiful, but not spectacular. But the eye and the nose lied! On the palate this was not an overpowering fruit bomb - it was very elegant, with the copious tannins very well integrated, sliding silkily across the palate, accented by smokey blackberry fruit. This is a wine that would be easy to serve, with great balance and flavours likely to please many a wine lover. Decent length, this may improve, but it is definitely drinking very nicely today. A perfect wine match for a steak, a hearty winter roast, or to be enjoyed on its own.
Price: C$49 (SAQ)
decanted ~2 hours before serving