Laurel Glen 2003 "Terra Rosa" Mendoza Malbec ($9.99)
Inky dark reddish-purple in color, this fruit-forward Malbec offers appetizing scents of black cherries, plums and a whiff of dark chocolate. A sniff invites a taste, and the flavor does not disappoint: Full, ripe and juicy black-cherry fruit, nicely displayed on a firm structure of lemon-squirt acidity. There's a hint of tannic astringency in there, but it's almost hidden behind the luscious fruit; a tangy snap of lemons and a mouth-watering hint of cherry-berry fruit persist in a very long finish. US Importer: Laurel Glen Winery, Santa Rosa, Calif. (Apr 1, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Malbec is a natural with red meat and an exceptional match with traditional pizza; this time I demonstrated its flexibility by pairing it with an Asian-style dish, a stir-fry of duck breast and baby bok choy scented with garlic, ginger and "five spice."



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