2005 Casa Marguery Familia Malbec Mendoza

Malbec has come into vogue recently, primarily as a result of high quality releases from Argentina. While the grape continues to be a primary variety in the southwest of France, the Malbec wines of southwest France tend to be hard and tannic. In Argentina, Malbec produces deeply colored, intensely flavored wines with good backbone. Some of the oldest vine vineyards of Argentina are now producing world class wines.

Casa Marquery Marguery is a family operation located in Mendoza, Argentina's top Malbec growing region. The family has a long-term relationship with growers in La Consulta, San Carlos and the Vistalba Valley. Winemaking is directed by Pedro Rosell. Rosell, one of Argentina's most prominent consulting enologists, leaves his signature imprint on any wine he makes. After supervising the growing throughout the year, he oversees a thorough selection of grapes, which are lightly crushed by machine press and pumped into stainless steel tanks for a temperature-controlled fermentation. The wine is then aged in French oak barrels of for 12 months before bottling. The result is an impressive example of what great vineyard management and non-interventionist winemaking can produce.

Believing in Malbec as the emblematic grape of Argentina, the winery chooses to make only two Malbecs, the Casa Marguery and the Familia Marguery. This 2005 "Casa" Malbec is a deep red color with intense violet tones. The nose is complex, with notes of plums and morillo cherries, a touch of black pepper and cassis. On the palate it is concentrated, yet round, with supple tannins. Pure Malbec through and through.

If you really want to enjoy this Argentine Malbec, pair it with a traditional Argentine "asada" or grilled steak. To make it authentic, make it an asado, or open-flame barbecue. Pick up a jar of chimichurri (an Argentine barbecue sauce made from chopped parsley, dried oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, onion, and paprika with olive oil) and drizzle it on the meat just before you pull it off the grill. Add a little goat cheese, if you want. A wonderful Argentine feast!