Finca El Portillo Rosé Malbec 2008

When I’m shopping for a relatively cheap pink wine (and for me, that means ten bucks or less), there are very, very few things I’m concerned about, to be honest. The wine should be screwcapped so that I am able to quickly bust it open when I get home from work; the wine should be dry as I think that sweet pink liquids are best left to manufacturers of children’s medicines, and (ideally) there should be some flavor in the wine, preferably something you’d want more than one glass of.This wine works for me on all counts. It’s easily opened, it’s bone dry, and it tastes vaguely like a rhubarb fool: slightly acidic, with pretty red berry flavors and a fine, creamy texture. It is just fine. No, it will not leave you rambling on about garrigue and Provençal herbs. The color is pink, Jolly Rancher Watermelon pink, and not an elegant onionskin pinkish yellow. The flavors are straightforward and good, no pussyfooting around.It’d be hard to do better than this at this price point – yes, I would rather have a bottle of Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare or the Crios de Susana Balbo malbec rosé – but if this is on sale, it’s as cheap as you’re gonna get without venturing into “do not put in mouth” territory. Honest.By the way, if you ever find yourself on vacation in Mendoza, do take a trip down to the place where this wine is made. It is absolutely one of the most overwrought wineries I’ve ever seen (somehow without being vulgar) – if I remember correctly, it was built by Dutch orthodontists spending their retirement money in South America or something along those lines. It features the most insanely ridiculous spittoons I’ve ever seen: stand-alone plinths that look like they were ganked from a travelling Star Trek prop exhibition. I’ve never felt quite as self-conscious as I did horking up Syrah into those things; best of all, it’s a cavernous chai, so every tiny noise you make is amplified to truly epic gross-out proportions. Highly recommended: do book ahead and stay at the nearby Postales del Plata Valle de Uco Lodge if you get a chance. It’s awesome.Bodega Salentein
Price: $10
Closure: Stelvin

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