Altos Las Hormigas 2001 Mendoza Malbec ($9.49)
This dark reddish-purple wine shows characteristic Malbec red-berry fruit aromas with grace notes of brown spices. Full and juicy red-fruit flavors are nicely balanced by zippy acidity, providing the cleansing edge needed in a good food wine. Some spicy oak presence shows up as the wine opens in the glass, but fruit remains in the foreground. (A portion of the wine is aged in small oak barrels while the rest stays in stainless steel.) Closed with a black synthetic cork. US Importer: Vintner Select, Cincinnati, and other regional importers. (Dec 1, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: As you'd expect of an Argentine red, it's a natural with beef, but you needn't save it for a steak dinner: It made a great match with juicy ground-round hamburgers flavored with red onions and garlic.

WEB LINK: http://www.altoslashormigas.com/

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