Finca Roja 2009 Malbec from Neuquen
It always surprises me that with so many Malbecs in the Argentine market, every one that I drink tastes SO different.
Such was the case again with Finca Roja’s 2009 Malbec; a wine which is an oddity because it is from the Neuquen region (in Patagonia), rather than from Mendoza, where the majority of Argentine wines are produced. The difference in climates was apparent in the nose and on the palate: rather than being jammy and slightly spicy like the majority of Mendoza Malbecs, (which are subject to intense temperatures and therefore have grapes with high sugar content, resulting in bigger flavors and higher alcohol), this Neuquen wine was a bit more subdued. It still had beautiful fruit flavors on the palate and packed quite a punch with pepper and tannins, but compared to the wines from Mendoza, it seemed more mature, a bit more relaxed, and overall easier to drink.
We love the big, classic Argentine Malbecs with our parrillas and other grilled meats, but this Neuquen wine begs for something a little more refined and subdued: perhaps a French-inspired dish, braised meats and stews, and anything with thyme or rosemary.
This wine is a great everyday drinker and highly recommended. And, at less than $10 US, it is a great buy, and an excellent introduction to an up-and-coming wine producing region in Argentina!