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Snooth User: Redagic

Hello Snooth!

Posted by Redagic, Nov 25, 2015.

Hello wine lovers. Im a newby. I find that I love a Mendoza Malbec  like its oxygen and Nineteen Crimes cab is to die for ( althouth not in the way some of the criminals may have in route to australia) . I also am enjoying some less complex but well balanced red blends like Apothic. My favorite malbec so far is Alamos and Cigar Box is pretty nice as well. I look forward to soaking up all of your collective wisdom.

 

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Replies

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Reply by dvogler, Nov 25, 2015.

Welcome Redagic,

It's nice you actually said what you're enjoying!  We usually have to pull it out of people.  I'd say you're off to a good start.  Alamos is decent.  Have you tried Catena?

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Reply by EMark, Nov 25, 2015.

Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Redagic.  I will also second DV's compliment of your introductory post.  We hope you continue to contribute.

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Reply by Redagic, Nov 25, 2015.

Thanks everyone , I have not yet tried Catena but its on my list and I will get one as soon as I make my next wine run.

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Reply by duncan 906, Nov 25, 2015.

Welcome Redagic. I have also enjoyed malbec but most of those I have tried have been from Cahors in France rather than Argentina.

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Reply by Redagic, Nov 26, 2015.

Thank you Duncan. You have created a question in my mind about Cahors France. Isnt the grape in a mendoza Malbec an export from the gapes in cahors ? I think I read somewhere those grapes were nearly wiped out in some natural disaster event like a drought or something but that some precious vines were taken to Argentina and took well to the mountain sides and climate in the Mendoza region. Even more so than in Cahors itself.  Therefore would not the wines from this area in Argentina actually be a Cahor ? If not what would be the difference between a French Malbec  and an Argentina ( Mendoza) Malbec  and what do you recommend I try  ?

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 26, 2015.

Very possible Red, that some or many the Malbec vines in Mendoza were grafted from Cahors France. In Cahors, they usually blend in some Merlot which makes it interesting. The wines are typically a little lower in alcohol, maybe a little more tannin and acidity.

However, what makes Mendoza a special place for Malbec is the elevation. It's unfortunate that most of the wines exported to the U.S. are commercial wines that by nature are more industrial, with a lot of additives, including sugar potentially, and overall likely not as inspired or ageable as some of the small to medium estates, not that I know what the good producers are! Just saying this so you might try to continue to experiment, and in the case you ever get to visit, make it a point to visit some of the smaller, locally famous producers. 

Welcome to the forum.

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 26, 2015.

Cahors is a region in France, just as Mendoza is a region in Argentina. Argentine malbecs are generally larger, higher in alcohol, 'rounder' and sweeter. What some people call fruit bombs, though there are exceptions. The sweet fruitiness is generally what makes them so approachable by new drinkers. It's easier for the grape to produce that much sugar that's then fermented into alcohol because Argentine vineyards tend to get more sunlight through the year than do the French.

Cot is the traditional name for malbec in southwestern France where Cahors is located. The disaster you are likely referring to was an almost Biblical scourge of phylloxera (minute aphid-like insects) that nearly destroyed the entire wine-grape rootstock across France at the end of the 19th century. My guess is that malbec cuttings were probably introduced from France to Argentina a bit before that. Though it's also likely that phylloxera's devastation in France meant Argentine's plantings then took on a much larger share of the world's malbec production. 20th century production of malbec in France was at lower levels than that in the 19th century. Trends were opposite in Argentina, and the grape has taken on huge significance for the Argentine wine industry.

Cahors malbecs are generally both more tannic and acidic than the Argentine versions, though upon aging many of them mellow and can become quite sophisticated wines. They were often referred to in the past as 'Black' Cahors because of the darkness of the juice. Personally I like more French malbec than Argentine, though I've also had Argentine versions grown in certain uplands that I do like. I'm not a big fan of simplistic fruitbombs. Perhaps you, as many others, will find your tastes evolving the further you get into your winedrinking career. Keep drinking a bunch of different malbecs both from Argentina and France and see what you tend to like.

There are some additional versions of malbec up the Loire river in France but they get even less sun, so are a bit 'greener' than those down in Cahors, much less in Argentina. My recommendation would be to start with all sorts of Argentine versions then try Cahors. Later try the Loire variety if you're still into malbec at that stage.

Enjoy!

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Reply by Redagic, Nov 26, 2015.

Wow, I knew I was going to get an education here. I have a lot to chew on for a while, thanks all !

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Reply by EMark, Nov 26, 2015.

And, Malbec (like just about every other grape) is also grown in California.  It is mostly used as a blending grape--i.e., mixed with other grape varieties to produce a wine similar to the comment that Jon Derry made about Cahors being a blend of Malbec and Merlot.  In these blends, it might  be difficult to ascertain exacly which grape varieties are used.  The producer may itemize the grape variety content on the label--usually the back--or he may not.  However, there are a number of California wineries that produce varietal bottlings of Malbec--i.e., it will say "Malbec" on the front label.  I have none to recommend to you. I have tried a few, but not anything that I thought was particularly distinctive.  So, other than Argentina, you're probably best off exploring French versions.

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 26, 2015.

Mark brings up a point about blending...Cahors regulations require at least 70% Malbec to be in the blend, though it's normally 80-90% I believe, recalling the last one I had at 90%

In the states, 75% of the main varietal is required in order to label the wine by that varietal. Though, I don't think it's very common to blend Malbec with other varieties in the U.S. or Argentina.

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 26, 2015.

Actually the Malbec in the states to try would be Lagier Meredith's - have heard good things by fellow wino's  , and no mention of blending.

 

 

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Reply by duncan 906, Nov 26, 2015.

Redagic  Malbec originated in France but the taste of a wine is not only down to the grape type but also the 'terroir ' or the soil and microclimate of the spot where the vine is grown. Dmucker has made the generalisation that Argentine malbecs are 'rounder and sweeter' and Cahors is 'more tannic and acidic' but each wine is different.  Chateau du Cedre is regarded as one of the better Cahors and one of several which I have enjoyed and reviewed on here.I was served a Loire valley malbec this summer when I stayed at a hotel in France a bottle of La Gourmandire Touraine Cot and I recall that it was fairly lightweight in style .Malbec is sometimes used in a blend in Bordeaux but the only 100% malbec I have heard of from Bordeaux is from Chateau Tire Pe. I have not tried that particular cuvee.The thing to do is to taste as many as you can and make your own mind up

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 26, 2015.

That would make for a very interesting tasting Duncan, to taste a few from the different regions in France, U.S., and Argentina. I happen to be at a party that has a 2012 Ponte Malbec ready to be opened with the thanksgiving fare, however on the back label they make no bones about it, the grapes are from an old site in Mendoza, and labeled as 15% Abv. Expecting a fruit/alcohol bomb, but we'll see.

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Reply by Redagic, Nov 26, 2015.

Thank you all for your insight.  I enjoy wine but am limited somewhat to the under twenty dollar range, under fifteen dollars in most cases. I may not often be able to partake of more exquisite wines but I think I can enjoy to the fullest what I can. I have started a wine journal in which I remove the labels and stick it to a page in a notebook along with my own tasting notes.  I may not impress a seasoned drinker with my notes but its for my own benefit and I know what I like. I think for me its as much about what I was doing while enjoying my wine. Was it a cozy night in with netflix or with a book by the fire. Or after a wonderful vegan Thanksgiving feast like we just had. Tonight I will try Apothic Dark while watching Jurassic World with hubby. I may have a bit more cranberry pecan stuffing to see how they taste together, although I dont know the first thing about paring wine and food. Cheers ! Have a great holiday everyone.

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 26, 2015.

Cheers, and thanks for giving us a fun topic to riff off of and discuss, especially something outside of the same old around here. I'm actually enjoying this 2012 Ponte Malbec (sourced from Mendoza grapes), it's got more fruit but also more chewy tannin than the first 2014 Lapierre Beaujolais Morgon I opened, which is also real nice, but is in need of food to go with it. Still waiting for the food over here!

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 26, 2015.

Redalgic, that journal is a very good practice. If you keep it up you'll have very interesting reading 10 years from now as you look back on your journey...

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Reply by dvogler, Nov 26, 2015.

I wish I kept more accurate notes.  Or at least simple thumbs up or down.  I know I've had certain wines in the past as I see newer vintages on the shelves, but memory is not so good.  What really complicates it is the fluctuation in vintages.  I've had great years and fall  in love with a wine and then there's a stinker.  Or in the case the other night when even a good vintage was a let down.  It was a blend that was 2009 and had a great nose, but the finish was like lightening.  Blink and it's over.  Happy Thanksgiving all you Americans.

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Reply by EMark, Nov 27, 2015.

Oh Redagic.  You are so doomed.  All the participants, here, were once normal human beings. Many of them "enjoyed a glass of wine with their dinner."  Now, however, they have morphed into genuine wine geeks.  Fortunately, most of us have very understanding spouses.  In my case, she might be my biggest enabler

You know that spacious rec room that you've built into your basement.  It's gone.  You will be filling it up with bottles of wine.  Then you'll be looking for more space to store more wine.

Resistance is futile.

It's been delightful conversing with you, Redagic.  Please continue to try new wines, please keep us updated on your wine discoveries and please ask questions.  We love to show off.

;-)

Very kind of you to send your best wishes, Darrin.  Thank you.

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Reply by Redagic, Nov 27, 2015.

Oh EMARK, your post left me squealing with delight. My nineteen year old son is going to get a kick out your post when I show it to him because this sounds a lot like how we kid each other in our home. And yes I am already eyeballing a spot in the basement. My husband is quickly settling into the role of my enabler and is happy it only takes coffee , books and wine to keep me contented. No mannies and peddies here. With these few things, I could bunker up forever. Well I have to add wine tastings to that list. Going to one this weekend, I`m giddy with anticipation. Also that Apothic Dark I had with thanksgiving dinner was pretty meh for me. I didnt hate it but I didnt love it . I thought it was ok. The nose was very nice but the flavor reminded me of when your lemon aid is too tart and sour for lack of better terms. I thought it to be somewhat  one dimensional. It definitely benefited from sitting in the glass a bit and a few good swirls but it felt a bit like it was cut with strait grape juice. Maybe I`m just a philistine. One day I hope to join the ranks of the rest of you geeks and then maybe I`ll know what I`m talking about. ;P

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Reply by dvogler, Nov 27, 2015.

Red,

You've just ascended to higher wine lover status.  I didn't want to comment on your pending Apothic tasting.  Now, had you said you loved it, that would be okay.  You will find that your palate will change and you will enjoy wine of higher quality and quickly discern the difference.  Higher quality certainly doesn't necessarily mean expensive.  There is a lot of industrial wine out there that most people enjoy.  Somewhat like art from Target.  I'd say you have just joined our ranks.   Enjoy that tasting event and take notes.  Also don't be afraid to spit the wine and/or pour it into the bucket.  Even if you like it.  Some events have hundreds of wines.

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