Catena Zapata 2005 Mendoza Malbec ($20.00)
Inky blackish-purple, dark violet at the edge. Lots of black fruit on the nose, fresh black-skinned plums and hints of earth, happily without the intrusive oak that's becoming unfortunately commonplace in Argentine Malbec, particularly the more pricey models. Tart, ripe plums on the palate, too, nicely structured with mouth-watering acidity and smooth tannins. Appealing, balanced, not overly complex at this point, but shows possibilities for at least a few years' cellar time. US Importer: Billington Imports Inc., Springfield, Va. (Feb 26, 2008)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with the hamburgers pan-seared Italian-style with green peppers and onions featured in yesterday's 30 Second Wine Advisor FoodLetter.



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