We’re on vacation! And as part of the amazing vacation experience, since it’s rainy and windy outside, I’ve poured two great malbecs for us all to compare. And compare and contrast we did – two strong malbecs that brought two totally different experiences!
Five tasters set up for the two wines, Arterra’s 2016 Malbec, and Narmada’s 2011 Malbec. Not being sure how all those tasting (including one co-worker of husband who was joining us, with unknown wine preferences…).
First taste went to the senior vintage, the Narmada Malbec. We detected all the leather and smoke in it – but a few of the crew picked up the sweetness – we ended up coming to consensus that it was cherry dominating the wine. This wine changes with food – even something as simple and cheese and crackers – you end up picking up different notes, and it smooths out quickly. A wiser taster than me may have aerated it or let it sit a bit longer, but I still find it a great sipping wine.
Second up, our old friend Arterra with their new release malbec. Quickly everyone came to the conclusion that this wine was the one to drink unaccompanied, very smooth, very clean. It also should have opened up some more, as it changes over a little bit of time and becomes even smoother and brings some of the subtler flavors out into the open. It was fabulous with crackers and cheese as well as on its own, and it’s softer trip across the tongue was amazing.
So all in all, the crew divided, with everyone pouring more of both wines, three drinkers preferring each. My recommendation is pairing the Narmada with food, as it adapts to the flavors of whatever you choose to eat with it, and drink the Arterra on its own, as it has complexity and pleasantness that transcends what happens when it mixes with food. Wine friend 2 noted the preference for clean wine and how she really noted the difference in treatment with native yeast and no additives in the Arterra wine.
Both remain top choices for malbec – grab the Arterra 2016 Malbec before it is gone, and drop by Narmada to pick up the 11 Malbec!