Tercos Bonarda 2008

Tercos Bonarda 2008About a year ago we reviewed the 2007 Tercos Bonarda and now we’re checking out the 2008 vintage of this wine.
If you’re not familiar with bonarda, you should introduce yourself.  It’s one of the most grown varieties in Argentina.  It’s an fascinating wine with excellent complexity and medium organize.  This variety is also known as charbono in some regions, such as California.
As I mentioned in review of the 2007, Bonarda can take on a variety of characteristics depending on the vineyard and the vinification.  And comparing my notes from last year with this one even shows some evolution in this wine, but some similarities at the same time.  Both vintages show a smoky/grilled aroma and blackberry characteristics.  But I reckon the 2008 shows a bit more fruit than the previous vintage.  In terms of overall quality, I reckon the 2008 is on par with the 2007, it has a slightly different expression. Read more

Cruz Andina Malbec

Cruz Andina MalbecSo… you say you like malbec?  Me too.  Who can resist it, with it’s dark, silky-purple affect, dense fruit flavors and floral aromatics.  It’s no wonder this varietal has skyrocketed in popularity over the past ten years.  And Argentina is the source for most of the exciting, new world malbec.  And that’s what we’re going to explore for the next few reviews.
One of the trends we look for here at Cheap Wine Ratings is which producers consistently produce excellent wines.  And one of the Chilean wine producers we’ve come to trust as being consistently excellent, is Veramonte.  But why, you might question, am I talking about Chilean producers when this review is about an Argentine malbec?  Well, Veramonte is not just a Chilean producer, but they are also producing Argentine malbec below the Cruz Andina name.  And this malbec reinforces Veramonte’s status as a brand we trust and like… a lot!
The fruit in this malbec comes from Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley, the most prized appellations for malbec in Mendoza.  Based on what we tasted in this wine, we can see why these appellations are prized. Read more

Bodega Elena de Mendoza Malbec

Bodega Elena de Mendoza MalbecLast nighttime, we reviewed a very excellent, although relatively pricey, malbec from Cruz Andina.  Well, tonight, we’re checking out what a malbec for below $10 can deliver.
I sometimes like to give a small background tale about a wine, but with this one I don’t really have much tale to share.  This brand is part of the E&J Gallo family.  And that’s about all I have for you, additional than my tasting notes — which will reveal that even without a rich tale, I found this wine to be quite nourishing. Read more

Kaiken Reserva Malbec

Kaiken Reserva MalbecI talk each now and then about finding brands that you trust.  It’s excellent to find a few brands that always seem to get it right, vintage after vintage.  Brands that can be your go-to wines when you’re looking for a particular varietal or province.  Don’t get me incorrect, I like to be adventurous and explore different wines.  But each now and then, you just want to grab something you know.  And when it comes to Argentine wines, Kaiken is one of those brands for me.
Kaiken concentrates their production on malbec and cabernet sauvignon.  They do have a link wines with different varieties, but cabernet and malbec are their specialty and they do both very well. Read more

Gascón Malbec

Gascón MalbecIt seems that in all the wine shops I visit, Don Miguel Gascón is the Malbec that I see everywhere.  Perhaps that’s because it’s distributed by wine motivating force, EJ Gallo.  It’s named after the original founder of the winery, who went from Spain to Argentina in 1880 and started building the winery in 1884.  The winery was run by descendants of Gascón for over a century until it was bought by a group of inventors in 1993, led by the Catena family—the same folks who make the Alamos Malbec, earlier reviewed here.
There is only one type of wine that you’ll see with the Gascón name, and that is Malbec.  In fact, unlike a number of additional producers, they make only one version of their Malbec. Read more

Layer Cake Malbec

Layer Cake MalbecBeing as into wine as I am, I get into a lot of conversations about wine and I’ve noticed that there are a few names that come up time and time again.  One of those names is Layer Cake, and that’s particularly related to their Shiraz.  I meet people everywhere who are nuts about Layer Cake Shiraz.  And ironically, I have yet to taste it.
In addition to Shiraz, Layer Cake also produce Cabernet, Primitivo, Cotes du Rhone, and Malbec, all from different regions of the world.  Jayson Woodbridge is the force in the rear Layer Cake.  He’s also the owner of Hundred Acre wines, a high-end wine mark based in Napa that sells wines starting at about $250 a bottle (that’s not a typo).  Layer Cake is much more affordable at $15 a bottle, and it’s subdue excellent wine.  It’s in fact produced by same team that makes the Hundred Acre wines.
Each Layer Cake wine is grown, made, bottled and labeled in its country of origin previous to being shipped to the US.  So, this Malbec was produced in the Mendoza province of Argentina, just like each additional Malbec I’ve reviewed. Read more

Tercos Bonarda

Tercos BonardaThese days, a lot of wine consumers are turning to South America for some outstanding wine values—and in particular, they’re turning to Chile and Argentina.  When it comes to Argentine reds, Malbec is king.  But there’s another variety that’s widely grown in Argentina that you may want to try. It’s called Bonarda.  And, in fact, until recently it was the most widely grown variety in Argentina.
The wine produced from Bonarda can vary quite a bit.  It can be set alight-bodied and fruity or huge and powerful, depending on the age of the vines, vineyard practices and wine building techniques.  The flavors can range from cherry and plum in lighter wines to raisin and fig in larger Bonarda.  This one, from Tercos, falls everyplace in between. Read more