Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Melipal Malbec 2003

$21.98 14% alcohol 100% Malbec Mendoza, Argentina

According to the label, this wine comes from an 80 year old vineyar, and 18,631 bottles (1550+ cases) were made. That is actually a pretty small run compared to a lot of the Malbecs.

Just looking at the glass, this is inky dark, almost black, with a very thin purple edge. It is also thick - a quick swirl around the glass coats the sides and sticks.

Up front, just out of the bottle, the nose is overpowering. There is a lot of alcohol, more than I expected from 14% alcohol. A few minutes later the fruit blasts its way out of th glass. There is blueberry, but not just blueberry, BLUEBERRY!!! More blueberry pie filling than fresh fruit or even jelly or jam. Next is a very interesting smell, bananas and brown sugar, maybe even plantains in brown sugar. It is a sugar/fruit sweet baked odor, and not a bad one. There is a tiny hint, way in the back, of bell pepper, just enough to tell you this is really from South America, but not obtrusive.

There is a lot of black fruit on the palate, starting with tart blackberries then moving to the blueberry pie filling from the nose. This is a real mouthful, like a fruit tart, a vanilla pastry filled with blueberry pie filling and fresh blackberries, sprinkled with black pepper. Add a side of beef and some leather and there you have it. The leather comes in toward the end, a bit of tannins but not enough to believe this wine is going to last a whole lot longer. It will be interesing to see how it holds up overnight.

Second night. This was only open an hour or two then sealed under a Vacuu-Vin seal. Tonight it opened with a "suuuuck-POP!," so it did not get air overnight.

The nose is still filled with black fruit, plus cloves and some green olive. Plus, for the first time, some florals- violets, I think.

Old wine. This tastes like old wine. It is not oxidized and tasting of Port, it just tastes old - like very overripe/bruised plums. There are other fruits still there, blueberry and blackberry, plus cloves, but one night overnight and this seems over the hill.

I am really not surprised. For some reason the South American wines, even the pretty good ones (I haven't bought any of the very good ones, just because I can't bring myself to spend good Bordeaux money on "very good" anything from South America), just don't seem to last a long time. This is not a bad wine, in fact it's pretty good. But if my idea that the second night tells you something about the life of a wine, well, drink up. Don't let this one sit in the cellar much longer.

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