2012 Antucura Malbec

It seems like life is never really slowing down these days!  I never have time to open some good bottles of wine.  I’ll drink wine in a travel mug in my car if I have to.  Luckily, it hasn’t come to that yet.  I did manage to have a great bottle of Malbec recently.  I know a lot of people have been into Malbec for the last few, well, years, but I never was a huge fan.  The Malbecs produced in South America have become the go to wine for a lot friends of mine because they are usually inexpensive and provide decent quality for the money.  I can’t really argue with that.  There are a lot of solid, easy-drinking Malbecs from Argentina that will cost you under 10 bucks.  I have even blogged about one before.  But, I have always viewed them more as a table wine rather than something I am going to dig into and enjoy all of its layers.  It falls in that middle ground between, “I am not upset that someone brought this to dinner” and, “This is kind of boring” as I suppose any decent table wine should.  Needless to say, it has clearly been a while since I have had a Malbec that I could appreciate on it’s own.

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The 2012 Antucura Malbec was a reminder not to rule out or generalize any varietals or production areas.  This wine was rich and lingering but managed to remain pretty subtle.  It had this big crescendo of flavor that wasn’t right up front but didn’t have a bite at the end.  A long, smooth peak of flavor that finished with just a hint of booze.  I was caught largely off guard at how good this wine was.  I had to just take a minute and sit with it on the couch, and slowly sip, and then stare at the glass.  I knew Decanter Magazine had given it a 95 rating but sometimes I feel like the lesser known wine magazines will rate something highly just to get press.  I can’t always trust it.  In this case, I agree that this is a fantastic wine.  95? Perhaps no.  Although a lot of those point systems are total garbage, it works off the idea that if a lot of really silly wine snobs are all giving something high marks, it is probably pretty good.

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The best part about this whole thing is that this bottle only costs 14 bucks!  That’s a hell of a bargain.  I have had wines that cost 3 times that much that I don’t think hold a candle to this bottle.  Top shelf wine at table wine prices is was really gets The Sybarite’s motor running.  I will definitely be ordering more of this from wine.com.  Also, I love that fact that it is a Malbec which so many people are comfortable with these days.  It makes it approachable to people who normally drink Malbec and gives them a reference point on the quality of this wine versus what they might be used to.  It’s a great wine to drink when it is cold, too, so be sure to pick some up for Festivus!  I hope everyone has a happy holiday season and I will catch you all in 2015.

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