The 2012 Gouguenheim Malbec from Argentina's storied Mendoza region is a classic of its kind and a good deal at about $12.50 at wine-savvy markets around Tampa Bay.
The bouquet of this medium-bodied red, which is aged four months in oak, is complex and nuanced, with big blackberry accented by warm spice, a touch of chocolate cherry and a nice brambly edge. The same is true of its flavor profile, a spiky melange of blackberry, bramble, mocha and black currant, all well-structured with soft, round tannins. It finishes long with a big pop of black pepper at the end. All in all, this is a fine malbec at a very good price.
Pair it with a steak slathered in Argentine chimichurri sauce, a dark and rich lamb and wild mushroom ragu or smoky pit barbecue.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.