Winery: Tilia, Mendoza, Argentina
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, screw cap
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Perhaps the strongest appeal of Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 is the ripe berry and licorice nose. On the palate, it combines cherry, red berry, and woody notes with an reasonably long finish. It's on the light side for a Cab, though I didn't really see the sweetness that a few reviewers noticed. This Cab definitely improves with some air. Despite aerating and a little breathing, the first sips were a bit harsh and not all that flavorful. An hour or two later, the wine was more pleasant and pleasantly drinkable. At first taste, I was thinking a sub-8.0 rating on my personal scale of 10, but after the wine sat for a while I found it more to my liking.
Is there a varietal that offers as good a value as Malbec? Bodega Elena de Mendoza Malbec 2010 is yet another very inexpensive but totally drinkable red wine from Argentina. It's very juicy and jammy with blueberry and raspberry notes, and offers a tart, peppery finish.
The Bodega Elena de Mendoza website doesn't tell us much about the brand (reportedly, it is an E. J. Gallo brand), though it does say:
Winery: Mendoza Vineyards, Mendoza, Argentina
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8.7 out of 10
Malbecs tend to offer some of the better red wine values, but for a mere seven bucks Zarpado Malbec 2009 is an even better value than most. It has an aroma of leather and red berries, and is surprisingly complex on the palate for such an inexpensive wine. The overall impression is of juicy blackberries and raspberries, but there's a hint of tobacco and the finish offers tannins that are pleasantly robust.
New sales data shows tht Malbec is officially the hottest wine export from Argentina:
Malbec stood for 40.1% of the volume of bottled wine exports during 2010 (this percentage was 34% in 2009). Except in The Netherlands (Chardonnay) and Paraguay (blend red wines), Malbec was the leader variety in the main 25 destinations, with high share percentages on the total, which in most cases is higher than 30%. For instance, in United States, 60% of the volume was for Malbec, while this figure amounted to 48% in Switzerland, 47% in Mexico and 37% in Peru. [From Malbec keeps on breaking records by Gabriela Marizia.]
From our perspective here at Box Wines, that trend makes a lot of sense. Malbecs are easy-drinking and usually (though not always) inexpensive. More importantly, it seems that even sub-$10 Malbecs are often quite drinkable. With the US economy still in recovery mode in 2010, good but inexpensive wines are a logical choice.
And, lovers of boxed wine can enjoy Malbec, too. We found Vaca Morada Malbec in a 3 liter box - .at around $4 per bottle, it's a great value. This trend was evident last year, too, as reported in Malbec Crushing Other Grapes.
The hottest varietal in the U.S. wine market is Malbec, grown in Argentina and known for making red wines that are modest in cost and approachable in flavor.
According to recent data from The Nielsen Company, Argentine wines saw a 59.6 percent growth in dollar volume percent change on the U.S. marketâ€”by far the largest experienced by any foreign wine-producing country on our market that Nielsen tracksâ€”in the last year ending December 12, 2009. Chile saw an increase of 6.8 percent and Spain, 3.3 percent, in the same period. For two of Argentinaâ€™s biggest competitors on the import side, these low, single-digit growth rates pale in comparison. Malbec was also up 55.7 percent in dollar volume percent change over the 13 weeks ending December 12, 2009 and 42.8 in a four-week period ending the same date, according to The Nielsen Company. [From Feisty Malbec.]
Here are a few Malbecs we've reported on.