30 Second Wine Advisor: Malbec another way

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In This Issue

 Malbec another way
Staying on the Malbec path, we check out an offbeat blend of Argentina's trademark grape with an unexpected partner.
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 Rutini 2006 "Trumpeter" Mendoza Malbec-Syrah ($12)
You could call it a mixed marriage, but the result of this odd blend is a hearty, meat-friendly red, and that's not a bad thing.
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A different type of wine club. Shipping small-production
wines DIRECT from a different winery each month and combining the best
of a winery-based club with a merchant-based club.
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Malbec another way

Following up briefly on Wednesday's article about the giant Gallo firm making its entry into the growing market for Argentine Malbec, let's spend a moment today looking at another Argentine brand that was among the first to enter the U.S. market.

Online references indicate that Familia Rutini winery in Argentina's wine-producing Mendoza region began exporting modestly priced Malbec as early as the 1980s, selling its under-$10 portfolio under the Anglophone label "Trumpeter." Rutini was quickly joined by quite a few of its compatriots, including such early names as Catena and Trapiche; but it was only more recently that the trickle turned into a flood, and more upscale Malbecs and other Argentine trophies expanded the early identification of Argentina with low-end, affordable wines.

Not that there's anything wrong with low-end, affordable wines, as long as they're good. Today's featured wine, an odd blend of more-or-less equal proportions of Malbec and Syrah, bears the Trumpeter label. Owing more to its Syrah heritage than Malbec and a little more to oak, it's a hearty if somewhat simple red table wine that fares well with red meat, and a reasonable value in the range of $10 or so. My notes are below.


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Rutini 2006 "Trumpeter" Mendoza Malbec-Syrah ($12)


Clear, dark garnet. Aromas of plums, meat and smoke, it seems to speak more of Syrah (and oak, perhaps) than Malbec. Full-bodied, tart and tannic; black fruit and a hint of fennel. Simple fruit and soft tannic astringency in the finish. Good wine for red meat. U.S. importer: Billington Imports Inc., Springfield, Va. (Sept. 26, 2007)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with my Malbec standard, juicy burgers made with local grass-feed beef.

VALUE: It's an okay table wine, but doesn't really stand above the competition in the lower teens. It's a somewhat better value where available in some markets for under $10.

WHEN TO DRINK: I'm not sure it would evolve significantly with cellar time, but it certainly has the structure to withstand a few years.

Compare prices and find online vendors for Rutini Trumpeter on Wine-Searcher.com:

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