Altos Las Hormigas 2006 Mendoza Malbec ($11.00)
Inky blackish-purple with reddish-violet glints. Black and red plum aromas add hints of red clay and smoke. Full-bodied and fruit-forward, substantial structure built on tart acidity and a hefty 14.6 percent alcohol content. On the one hand, it's a distinctly "modern" wine that would likely earn high points from the critics for its fruit-forward, blockbuster-alcohol style. On the other hand, it's full and ripe, put together well and works with food, a marked advantage over the competition especially when price is taken into account. US Importer: Vintner Select, Mason, Ohio. (Feb 2, 2008)

FOOD MATCH: Chicken thighs steamed with porcini mushrooms and Asian aromatics, then cloaked in a Mornay-style Pecorino Romano and porcini sauce.



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