Malbec Fit For a Steak — or an Asado

tangoIt’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Argentine wine (you can read my posts on Finca Decero or Crios Malbec). Their quality-to-value ratio is certainly impressive, but that’s not the reason I love it.

To me, Argentine wine conjures up all the passion and mystery of this incredibly rich Latin country. Like Tango, Gauchos, seductive dark-haired women and dangerously handsome men, Argentina’s rich, bold, sexy wines express the passion of their people.

So imagine my surprise when I went ape-shit over my latest Malbec discovery and then realized that:

The winery isn’t owned by Argentines!

Is it possible that a guy from Las Vegas can make passionate Argentine wine?anoro

Here’s the story of Anoro Wine. Kenneth Fredrickson is a Master Sommelier and wine industry professional. He and his wife, Licelys Ramirez Fredrickson, visited Argentina in 2004 and not only fell in love with the wines and the people, but saw the incredible potential of this relatively new region (at least on the world wine stage). They teamed up with importer Vine Connections, and created a winery that sources fruit from some of the best high-altitude vineyards in Mendoza.

Their winemaking methods favor minimal intervention and gentle handling, letting the essence of the fruit reveal itself.

The wine I tasted is Anoro Malbec 2008, and the minute it filled my glass I saw the essence of the winery’s style. The color was opaque and deep purple/garnet, and it was obviously unfined and unfiltered (you could have eaten this thing with a spoon).

The nose hit me with chocolate and plum that morphed into a tart berry (maybe elderberry) with an herbal or floral note on the back.

I expected a rich palate, and that’s what I got, with intense, concentrated flavors of dark berries and just a little wet wood. The oak influence wasn’t obvious, because they oak-age only 50% of the wine, which really showcases the character of the Malbec.

The finish had some chewy tannins (but not in a bad way) and enough acid to prevent flabbiness. In fact, for all its richness and weight, Anoro Malbec is still a nice food wine: it just needs big food. (This is not surprising coming from a Sommelier.) A steak could keep up with this Malbec, or better yet, and Argentine Asado. (This is a barbeque event where every conceivable part of every conceivable kind of meat is roasted over a fire and then eaten. Definitely for carnivores only.)

At $25, Anoro Malbec represents a good value. It’s also a good example of the world-class stuff that’s coming out of this country. I hope you give some a try. Cheers!



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