I have been absent from these pages for a week or so as my breathing apperrati battled and now recovers from a mega cold. It is hard to isolate, identify, and appreciate the subtleties of a wine when your nose is out of order, and all tastings would be influenced heavily by the Hall’s cherry cough drops I have had in my mouth for a large percentage of recent days. And I’ve felt little motivation to do anything other than remain horizontal after repeatedly ingesting too many brain dulling Sudafeds and stemware sized doses of NyQuil. But the recovery curve is now near completion, aside from the occasional sinus harassment. So wine, again, sounds attractive.
For several months now I’ve wanted to try this wine, the Gascon Malbec. Anecdotal evidence was that it was quite good. Persons whose opinions I’ve found to have merit have sung its praises, so it was on my bucket list of wine to try. There was a significant problem, though. It is about $14.00 a bottle, a violation of my personal price ceiling by 25 percent. Well, by applying the convoluted logic of retail management, The Store has put it on sale, and by a lot! It is, for now, $8.99-five bucks off! Though that still threatens the high edge of an acceptable cheapskate price, I jumped at it. But we waited several days to open it, not wanting to waste our extravagance during my virus and medicine induced stupor.
Malbec, while rocketing upward in terms of consumption, is still not as familiar to many as, say, Merlot or Cabernet. It was originally a French second tier grape, used often as a blending ingredient to stiffen other “name” reds. It was not until Malbec was transplanted in South America, on the Andes slopes and the high desert around Mendoza, that the climate, soil, and growing season allowed this grape to fully ripen, and rise to its potential.
Gascon, which is in Argentina’s Mendoza region, was the first Latin American producer to offer Malbec as a varietal, in the 1940’s. They bottle only 2 wines-this Malbec, and a Reserve Malbec. And they have certainly gotten it right!
This is really good. Really good. It has body, enough soft, smooth acidity to let you know it’s there, a host of fruit, berry, cherry, and plum hints, an inviting smell of cherry and plum, and a nice linger of fruit after a sip.
One of those persons whose opinions I value, often makes an analogy between coffee and wine. And the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Most mornings, the Folgers is more than adequate. It smells good, tastes ok, and gets the day going. But every once in a while we’ll have a pot of freshly opened Gevalia, and it’s just more sensual in every way. That, my friends, is the case with the Gascon Malbec. I am NOT suggesting abandonment of the $10 rule. No. No. No. But when the opportunity strikes to flirt with another level and stay cheap, I’m in!