Altos Las Hormigas 2000 Mendoza Malbec ($8.99)
Earning a consistent reputation as a Malbec of exceptional value, the 2000 bottling is good but unusually "barnyardy." Black fruit, leather and a distinct "horsey" scent show up in the aroma; to be blunt, it's oddly reminiscent of an old, well-worn saddle. Earthy, organic nuances appear in the flavor as well, adding complexity to warm, plummy fruit. It's not for the faint of heart, but I have to confess: I like it. US Importer: Vintner Select, Cincinnati, and other regional importers. (Mar 13, 2002)

FOOD MATCH: A natural match with pizza with mushrooms and goat cheese.

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