Monte Xanic Malbec Limited Edtiion 2006

Unctuous and richly spicy at first, the nose of this wine reveals itself in short order to be more than that. There’s a fleeting sweetness, a hint of acidity, and then a full-on reveal of rich red fruits. At other times, there’s a dusty, dry spiciness that reminds me of things in the back of the spice cabinet that haven’t been opened in a while: something along the lines of allspice, bay leaf, and nutmeg.

Wonderfully complex, the initial impression is of simple, generous fruit, but then tannins sweep in at once to announce the serious intent of this bottle. These are quickly joined by sweet-leaf dried tobacco notes accompanied by just a hint of well-toasted barrel spice; then, it slowly, slowly, slowly fades into a ridiculously lengthy finish of slippery tannin, dark plummy fruit, and a hint of rosewater.

Delicious in ways that Malbec often isn’t, to me this is another example of how good Mexican wine can be. The climate in Baja California works well for grapes that thrive at greater levels of ripeness, and yet it has been judiciously harvested here, giving you the fullness of a New World wine and yet all of the spice and complexity of the Old. If anything, this reminds me greatly of some of the French producers in Argentina such as Lindaflor; the overall result is intoxicating, sophisticated, and just plain delightful.

Monte Xanic
Price: MXN 438 (US $34)
Closure: Cork

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