In the past few years wine made from the malbec grape, the crowning glory of Argentina's wine country, has become one of our favorite varietals. When a new one appears we cheer and cross our fingers.
The 2009 The Show Malbec (about $10 at wine-savvy markets) is not the best malbec we've tasted recently but it is darn good and well priced. We confess that we liked the bronc-busting label, too, and figured it was worth a taste. (If this were a text message we'd toss a smiley in here.)
The wine's aroma is toasty, compounded of mysterious dark fruits and caramel. The dark fruits individuate nicely on the tongue, revealing plum, blackberry and plenty of black fig. Caramel highlights and a hint of black coffee round out the flavor profile. The finish is medium long and satisfying, with surprisingly agreeable root beer and tobacco grace notes.
This winsome, value-priced wine would pair nicely with roast duck or with a grilled four-cheese sandwich (we're thinking sharp white cheddar, shaved Parmesan, crumbled blue and a bit of goat cheese to mediate among the stronger flavors) on fresh sourdough bread.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.