Today’s wine is courtesy of Argentina’s signature grape, a 2010 single-vineyard Malbec from Mendoza. While it is not the only grape grown in the region, it thrives in the rough, dry and hot terrain that Mendoza offers.
Alhambra presents notes of tobacco and smoke and even a touch of caramel. Like a lot of Malbecs, this is a dry, full-bodied red. It has smooth tannins and blackberry fruit in the background. Smoky, peppery and silky as it unfolds. This is a splendid Malbec that should be enjoyed young, within 2-3 years. Priced just under $15, this is one to seek.
Most food pairings are bold and spicy, like a Malbec: spice with spice. So Indian, Mexican or Thai dishes may work well. Cajun, barbecue and hot sauces should stand up too. Pasta and tomato-based sauces might be too much with the full body of a Malbec – remember when pairing with acidic sauces it’s best to find something to complement, not overpower.
Alhambra’s grapes are estate, handpicked from the Uco Valley in Mendoza. With a just a few inches of rain each year, the region depends on careful irrigation from the snowmelt of the Andes Mountains, a practice for hundreds of years. This enables the growers to manage the quality of the fruit. Now one of the top five imports to the United States, Malbec has taken a firm hold on red wine lovers’ hearts!