San Telmo 2003 Mendoza Malbec ($7.49)
This very dark reddish-purple wine blends earth and fruit, ripe plums with a distinct whiff of "clay" as a background note. Juicy and tart, plummy fruit and lemony acidity add a hint of tannic "fuzz" in the background, and pleasant mineral notes lingering with fresh black fruit in the finish. Surprisingly complex and balanced for a wine at this low-end price. US Importer: Palm Bay Imports, Boca Raton, Fla. (Oct 19, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Excellent with a hot pizza topped with Italian sausage, mushrooms and olives.

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