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2007 Vina Alicia Paso de Piedra Malbec

A special Malbec indeed. An opulent nose with black currant and licorice with some oak (but not overwhelming) at the back. A lively follow through on the palate with soft tannins singing low harmony to a higher range of slightly bittersweet chocolate and dark plums. Finishes with perfect pitch. Very approachable now, should get even better with 2 or 3 more years on it. Match with grilled steak, just as they would do in Argentina. A lovely wine and a superb value. Kudos to the composer—er, winemaker.
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2005 Deerfield Ranch Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

A big wine, a full, spicy mouthful of black fruit - blackcurrant and blackberry - and loads of spice - black pepper, white pepper, eucalyptus and toasted maple. Wood treatment is obvious, but the fruit is big enough to balance it out. Tannins are powerful but smooth, showing years of remaining cellar life. Drink with a porterhouse, with the filet side early, and the strip side after it gets some air.
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2007 Domaine de Montcy Cheverny – Loire Valley

Standing alone this is thin and slightly sour, but as a food wine it comes into its own. It has some light red juiciness and a touch of licorice, but the unique and surprising flavor is a sea-spray saltiness. For many this will be a curiosity, and for some it will be a treat. Pair it with dry-rubbed barbecue on a hot afternoon.
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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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2007 Rollingdale La Droite – Okanagan Valley, BC

This wine is a red-wine blend made up of 94% Merlot, with the balance comprised of Cabernet sauvignon (3.8%), Malbec (2%), and Cabernet franc (0.2%). As soon as I brought this wine to my nose, I started enjoying it: aromas of red fruit, wet stones and spice. On the palate I found juicy berries, ripe cherries, plums and spice. The wine filled my mouth with a roundness that wasn't the least bit "mushy"—the acidity made the wine bright and the gentle tannins gave it structure. And boy did it go well with the chicken pot pie. Just one caution: drink it when you pour it. To read more about this wine, visit Kathleen’s blog post on Between the Vines.