There aren’t too many straight Malbecs made in Australia, although the variety continues to appear in many blends, sometimes as a regional specialty (as with Cabernet Sauvignon in the Clare Valley, for example). Chris’s partner Dan is something of a Malbec enthusiast, so it is in his honour that I taste this wine tonight.
Awfully grand intro for a $A15 wine, no? Yet this is full of interest and tasty to boot. The nose shows a nice array of aromas, including slightly jammy red and black fruits, dense brambles baking in hot Summer sun, mint lollies and what seems like rather raw oak, vanillan and sappy in equal measure. Somehow, it strikes the same pose as an Italian pastoral art movie from the 70s; rough around the edges yet vividly sensual, all in slightly porno-like soft focus. I’ve never compared wine to an adult movie before, so this must be doing something right.
In the mouth, a big rush of Langhorne Creek goodness. It’s just as minty as the aroma, which is to say noticeably so without being offensive, and more importantly has the generous rush of flavour that seems to characterise this region’s red wines. Bang; immediately on entry there’s rich fruit flavour, a little baked perhaps, plus a lively mouthfeel that owes its character to a decent whack of acidity. This acidity isn’t that well integrated but, given the style of wine, its robustness works acceptably well. Intensity of flavour remains decent throughout, never peaking or troughing at any stage, nor scaling any particular heights. The acid-driven after palate brings a slightly medicinal edge to the flavour profile, before a nice long finish of red fruits and fine, dry tannins.
Totally unsophisticated, totally enjoyable. Not a bad companion to the consolations of another Monday evening.