Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wine Wednesday: Reds that knocked my socks off

Econo Boy has described my memory for certain wines as "disturbingly good." That's only partly true. A boring wine that I don't like much won't stick in my head -- in fact, I'm pretty sure I've bought the same dull, thin Bordeaux twice because I couldn't remember trying it and not liking it the next time I went to the liquor store. But I remember the good ones. Two years after our trip to Sonoma I still recall the peppery pop of Cline's Ancient Vines Zinfandel, the mouth-watering bubbles in J Vineyards Brut Reserve sparkling wine, and the soulful, classy finish of Benziger's Reserve Cabernet. (Granted, being at the winery makes it easier to remember the winners.)

There are two reds I've tried in the past few months that I know I'll remember for a long time.

Image from

The Altos las Hormigas Malbec 2007 is special from the moment you pour it into the glass. It's deep purple, really almost black, except around the edges where you can see a dark garnet color. It tastes as complex as it looks -- it's spicy and dry, but fruity and rich. It was far and away the best Malbec I've ever tried, and I can't wait to try the 2008 vintage. (The 2007 was enormously popular and can be tough to find.)

Image from

Forest Grove Cellars Syrah 2006, from Washington's Columbia Valley, is more approachable than the Malbec -- less spice, a softer finish -- but it too is a full-bodied, complex, powerful red wine. The best way to describe it is "mouth-watering." If you're looking something to pair with grilled steaks at your next BBQ, this is the one. I'm not usually a fan of Syrah/Shiraz, I often find them too sweet and rather unimaginative, but this one gets my unreserved seal of approval.

1 comment:

Sweet T said...

that Malbec is fantastic. I believe the first bottle of it I bought was the 2003 year (or 04? another good year for Mendoza).