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2007 Rutini Wines Trumpeter Malbec – Mendoza, Argentina

I held this a little longer than usual for a wine at this price point, and was rewarded with spicy black and red fruit. Elderberry, black and red raspberry, and black pepper, all with violet undertones, flowed through the glass. There is still wood, but the vanilla and touch of cedar complement, rather than overwhelm, the fruit. The finish is short, but good for the price point. Even better, at three years of age, this gem might be found in you local store's bargain bin. If it is, grab them all. Even if it isn't, at this price why not grab enough to get you through the summer? This would be a great match with burgers or steaks on the grill.
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2006 Familia Zuccardi Bonarda Serie A, Mendoza, Argentina

The use of wood is obvious and provides much of the flavor. There is a lot of fruit, cherries with a little blueberry, but vanilla, butter, baking spice, and tannins all come from the wood. Bonarda is usually lighter and brighter, with cherry, light tannins and light acids. In this wine the grapes are upstaged by the wood.
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2007 Henry Lagarde Malbec

After drinking a glass of this I discovered my heart is still capable of fluttering. This wine is intense, and complex. It is earthy and a little oaky, filled with red and black fruit and dark chocolate. Eat it with a steak still very pink in the middle.