The Wine Idiot Reviews: La Finca Malbec, 2015 ($3.99)
One of the more popular wines I've reviewed so far has been the La Finca Tempranillo. I was VERY pleasantly surprised by this ultra-budget red, especially considering I don't typically like "big" reds unless they're very good (i.e. expensive).
So I decided to give the La Finca Malbec a shot for two reasons--I haven't reviewed a Malbec yet, and also it's SUPER CHEAP. So if La Finca could deliver TWO great wines at under $5, I might have to send them a thank-you card or something, right?
Unfortunately, I was not as taken with the malbec as I was with the tempranillo. Other malbecs I've had have been VERY robust, peppery and/or spicy, and don't let you forget for a second that you're drinking a Big Red Wine.
This one...reminded me more of a lackluster pinot noir. It smelled strong and yeasty, and was in fact very peppery at first, but then turned into a very smooth-drinking wine. Which isn't bad, necessarily. But it lacked the "fun" I kind of expected. There just wasn't a whole lot of body or complexity. My mom took a sip and said, "Oh, this is...thin?"
I mean, it's not the worst red I've ever had. But if I was looking for a robust budget red, I would get the La Finca Tempranillo instead for sure.
What the bottle says: "The vineyards of Finca La Celia lie in the foothills of the Argentine Andes. Stunning purple color. Its bouquet is intense, rich in blackcurrant, vanilla, and spices. On the palate the soft and succulent ripe fruits follow through with a surprising delicacy. The tannins are silky, coming subtly from the forefront and giving a lingering finish. This wine has been aged in oak barrels for 3 months. This is a wine to enjoy with meat dishes and pasta with meat and tomato sauces."
What the Wine Idiot says: OK, maybe I just don't know my malbec???? But that description sounds like it should apply to...I don't know...cabernet sauvignon?? But I'm gonna say that description is not inaccurate. It's just not what I expect from a malbec. So maybe I'm the problem here.
Who's responsible for this? Produced & bottled by: Finca La Celia, Mendoza, Argentina
Do I need a corkscrew? Yup.
What do smarter people say about it? On Vivino, user Dave Oenonerd raves, "This is one of the best bargains I've seen lately! Trader Joe's moves this off the shelf at $4.99 per bottle. It has character, depth, and length. Blackcurrants and bold tannins are delivered with a full mouth. Enough acidity in this very dry opus to keep it going. Keep bringing us these deals, TJ!" Of the 2014 vintage, Ryan at the Fermented Fruit wasn't AS impressed, but he liked it more than I did: "This is medium bodied with a core of juicy red fruit. There are raspberry, plum and sour cherry notes making way to licorice and new wood. This isn’t terribly complex nor is the mouthfeel incredibly refined but it is altogether drinkable and has decent Malbec personality. The finish is light, spicy and a bit astringent (due to high acidity)."
Should I bring it to a friend's house? I would bring this Malbec AND the La Finca Tempranillo, and suggest a tasting! You'll be a hero, and only out $8.