Pros: VERY inexpensive, tasty
Cons: Not exactly prime Malbec
It’s the holidays so every penny really counts. I bit a bullet last week when, after a particularly taxing day, I only had about $8 to buy the bottle of wine I had been looking forward to all day, and unfortunately none of my normal bargain bottles were available at the store I stopped into. I reluctantly made my way to their “cheapie” section, and recognized most of the offerings as not even worth the $6 they were priced at. Then I saw the Trapiche Malbec, from Mendoza, Argentina, stickered 2 for $14. I had tried the Torrontes varietal of this producer before, and although that particular varietal isn’t one of my favorites I did find the wine impressive for $8. I combined that knowledge with the fact that I had yet to taste a Malbec that I disliked (although I definitely like some better than others), took a deep breath, and brought the bottle to the register.
As indicated on the product name in this database, this is their “Estate”, or entry level, wine. Trapiche actually produces a few levels of wines. The label was purple and white, and fairly simple, with a bird flying over a mountain, and the bottle was Bordeaux shaped and dark brown. It’s 100% Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina and has 13.5% alcohol by volume. I didn’t let the synthetic cork rattle me as I opened the bottle and poured myself a glass.
It poured deep colored but almost purple, with some bright blueberries and plum on the nose. This indication towards sweeter fruits (as opposed to black cherry and blackberry) was a bit discouraging, I admit. I tend to enjoy Malbec for the supple, soft but full dark fruits, with a hint of oak. After a sip, my nerves were quelled. It has the classic full body, with a little vanilla laced around the full fruit, yet didn’t taste heavy. The was only a bit of oak to balance the fruit; the finish was a bit more acidic than many Malbec wines I have had in the past, but in general it was fairly soft. The fruit was also a little bright for a Malbec as well, but setting varietal expectations aside, this was a really good bottle of wine at an excellent price.
I sip this wine often on its own, but it goes nicely with red meats, pasta with red sauce, and cheeses-especially hard, flavorful ones like manchego or pecorino.
Trapiche isn’t my favorite Malbec, but has easily become my favorite “cheap” wine. At $7 a bottle I wasn’t expecting much, was very impressed with what was offered. I’ll buy it again when my pennies are pinching!
Other inexpensive wine I enjoy when watching my dime include:
El Portillo Malbec
Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc Petit Chenin
La Vieille Ferme Red
La Vieille Ferme Blanc