Wednesday, July 7, 2010

LAGARDE MALBEC


Lagarde Malbec (after)

One spot where I like to have a glass of wine every now and then is an Argentine restaurant on Sunset in Los Angeles, South Point.  I liked it a lot better when it was called Gaucho Grill, even though the same people still own it.  The food's the same, the decor's the same, the view of the Laugh Factory is the same.  I don't know why businesses do what they do sometimes.

Usually I take the opportunity to have a Trapiche wine there, of which they have several.  This time I decided I'd try the Lagarde Malbec.  Our dinner guest, Jones, said he'd go along with my choice.

The Lagarde Malbec shows no vintage on the menu, and the conversation took my mind from asking the waiter a lot of wine questions.  One of those questions would have been, “Why do you serve red wine warm?”  Not just at room temperature, mind you, unless the room in question is the kitchen.  Which I figured it probably was.

The hot wine was also hot in the tannic sense.  Despite rather wonderful aroma and flavor qualities, the wine was hot and harsh as we drank.  It could have benefitted from decanting, although I lingered over my glass for nearly an hour waiting for improvement.  None came.  It may be that the wine is simply unbalanced, although I gather others have had much better experience with the brand.  Anyway, next time at South Point, I'll make it a white wine.  They serve them nice and cold.

On the Malbec, the nose is rather powerful and full of blackberry, earth, and spices.  The taste is intense, with the blackberries leading the way and a very dark sensibility following close behind.  I gather the wine is 100% Malbec, but I don't know if this is the winery's single vineyard varietal or not.  I neglected to find that out from the waiter, too.  I didn't even remember to take a photo until the wine was gone!

This is a $9 glass of wine wine in a strip-mall restaurant where one would expect $6 glasses.  It was also served warm with no apparent breathing time.  That being said, there were qualities there which made me wish the wine had been served under better circumstances.