El Felino 2003 Mendoza Malbec ($12.99)
This is a very dark reddish-purple wine, black at the center, unfiltered and unfined. Ripe and "rustic" aromas focus on black plums, with a distinct "rocky" minerality and slight, pleasant "barnyard" that becomes more evident as the wine airs in the glass. Bright and juicy black fruit flavors are nicely balanced by tart, almost tangy acidity, with plums and earth in a long finish. Big but balanced; extra credit for intriguing complexity, although much of it derives from brettanomyces, a wild yeast that some consider a contaminant. US Importer: Paul Hobbs Argentina, Sebastopol, Calif. (Dec 6, 2004)
FOOD MATCH: Fine with a cross-cultural match, duck breast "red-cooked" Cantonese style with soy and star anise.
WEB LINK: http://www.paulhobbs.com/
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com
Wine notes in 'shelf-hanger' format:
We publish Wine Lovers' Page tasting reports in the familiar "shelf-hanger" size and format, to make it easy for wine merchants or collectors to print them out, clip and post them where this wine is displayed. We do ask, however, that the WineLoversPage.com name, logo and URL be left intact, and that these reports be used with the specific wines rated, not different bottlings or vintages.
Our tasting policy:
All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I accept no free samples from wineries or distributors, purchasing all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.