Montes 2001 Colchagua Valley Reserve Malbec ($9.99)
Garnet in color with bright reddish-purple glints. The aroma is "grapey," plums and spice with dark chocolate nuances. Flavors follow the nose, plummy and bright, plenty of juicy fruit with snappy acidity to balance. Rather fruity and simple at first, but deep chocolate notes and smooth tannins emerge with time in the glass as it evolves into a more complex and interesting wine with some aging potential. Malbec is usually thought of as Argentina's signature grape, but Montes has brought it over the Andes to Chile with great success. US Importer: T.G.I.C. Imports Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif. (Jul 16, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with any red meat. I liked it with a spicy jambalaya, but it should be noted that its strength and acidity make it a little iffy with fiery fare.



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