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2011 Catena Mendoza Malbec

2011 Catena Mendoza Malbec

Winery: Catena Vineyards
Varietal(s): 100% Malbec
Vintage: 2011
Region: Mendoza Province (Maipu, Lujan de Cuyo, Tupungato, San Carlos), Argentina
Costco price: $16.99

It’s September in Georgia and there is a cool breeze in the air.  It is the time of year when God no longer allows the devil to play with the thermostat, allowing us to say goodbye to the sweltering heat of the Southern summer.

The humidity is replaced with a whisper of fall in the leaves, giving invitation to pull camping gear out of storage, light a fire, and find a quiet spot in the woods to gather with friends and nature alike.

I had originally picked this wine to accompany a venison roast, but a last-minute camping trip changed the plans. In the cool of the evening, with sausages roasting over a campfire, our crew opened this gem for it to tell the world a story.

It is fitting – a wine originating from the high mountains of Argentina was thoroughly enjoyed in the not-quite-as-high elevations of North Georgia.

Upon pulling the cork, this Malbec has a pleasant bouquet of ripe berries, plum, vanilla, and leather.  While the sausages are browning and the fat popping over the fire, we let it breathe to open up.

Tonight, we trade stemmed glasses for some fancy plastic wine glasses that are the wine world’s version of a Solo cup.  In the “glass”, the wine is dark purple.  What is most striking is the balance – a wonderful blend of soft tannins and tame acidity.  Very few wines would appeal to the amateur and connoisseur alike, but this is one that is well fitting.

Not complex in nature, it is smooth and enjoyable, complimenting the simple dinner we have prepared.  While Malbecs are rarely a first reach for me in-store, this wine has shown me that the varietal is worth the exploration.

Reviewed by the Red Neck Wine Guy

Rating: 90
Costco Item number: 472719