I usually write tasting notes here about wines I drink at home. I like giving a wine several different opportunities to show off its good qualities. Tasting a wine at home over a three-day span gives me a chance to experience the wine in different settings and different points in its evolution once the bottle is open. But I do like to have wine when Denise and I go out for dinner. My note taking is not as detailed in those situations, and I'm only getting one little snapshot of what the wine is like. Every now and then, though, I run into a "restaurant wine" that really strikes my fancy.
Alamos Malbec is on the list at Wood Ranch Barbecue and several other restaurants we frequent. I usually like to try something different when I'm out, but I have found myself going back to this Malbec over and over.
It's a dark purple color and has a very rich nose, full of fruit and some herbal traces. There's leather, too. The palate is a real treat, full of ripe fruit, dark berries, cherries, maybe some plums. This is a very smooth and drinkable wine with almost no tannic edge, and it paired extremely well with a barbecued chicken salad full of tomatoes. As if all that isn't enough, there's a lengthy and satisfying finish. The Alamos Malbec is hard to beat, particularly at the price. It runs about $8 a bottle, and I usually pay about $7 or $8 for a glass of it in a restaurant. The wines on the list that cost nearly twice that should feel a little bit of competition.
Winemaker: Alamos Ridge (Bodega Catena)
Appellation: Argentina > Mendoza
Acquisition disclaimer: Purchased by the author