Tamari Malbec 2005 Tasting Notes
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Tamari Malbec 2005 Tasting Notes

Tamari Valle de Uco y Perdrie Reserva Malbec from Mendoza in Argentina brings three major assets to the table: a truly competitive price ($12), solid performance, and a detail-filled, hype-free website (pero solamente en Espaņol). The wine is still young and can of course benefit from at least a few years of cellaring, but it gives a great deal now.

Dry, with reasonable acidity, low to medium tannins, the Tamari impresses the nose with good ripe red raspberry and plum. The plum dries to prune on the palate where cedar also makes an appearance. At dinner it nicely accompanied a Beef Wellington on one occasion, a meatloaf on another.

This is 100% Malbec, and I love the web detail: macerated at 8ēC for five days, then fermented for seven days at 25ē-27ēC, followed by 15 days post-fermentation maceration and then nine months in French and American oak. The high-altitude Mendoza grapes ripen at 800-1000 meters, mitigating the region's unrelenting sun; the result is truly dry (2.42 grams of residual sugar per liter) with respectable alcohol that is listed so close to the American 14% threshold that I suspect, by the heat, that it may tip in at something a little higher.

I have a feeling that if I aged this wine three years it might add some meat and leather notes, but maybe that's because I just read a book about Patagonian barbecue that got me salivating. My two bottles of this promising wine, alas, are now all gone.

Verdict: Solid Value and Clean
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I do buy by the case now and then when I see a good value and aging possibilities, but not often, since I gravitate to variety; you learn more.

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award


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