- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Alamos, Malbec, Mendoza, 2004, $12

With backyard barbecue season just around the corner, be sure to stock up on malbec. This Argentine specialty is a grilled hamburger’s best friend. Malbec came to Argentina from Bordeaux in the 19th century. While it’s still grown in France, it shines most brightly today in the eastern shadow of the Andes Mountains, particularly in the province of Mendoza. The wines made there tend to be full-flavored, with flavors that echo dark, danson plums, a hint of anise, and a sweet, floral aroma. At the same time, they exhibit soft, soothing tannins and rarely seem astringent or off-putting.

Alamos malbec is produced by Nicholas Catena, one of the leaders of Argentina’s wine renaissance. In some vintages it can seem a tad too okay, but this 2004 release gets the balance between wood and fruit just right. It exhibits deep, long flavors, and a seductively supple character. So pop the cork when you first put those burgers on the grill. (Imported by Billington.)

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