Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Viu Manent 2009 Estate Reserve Malbec, Colchagua Valley

When thinking of Malbec, two things flutter to the top of mind: Argentina and jammy. I’ve had Malbecs from different regions, but none seems to hit the bull's-eye like Argentina. The Argentine Malbecs are smooth, bubbling with fruit and are available at great values. They have become the signature wine of the country.
Chile is also making a name in high quality, high value wines. The signature red for Chile is Carmenere and I haven’t had the opportunity to try a Chilean Malbec before. When Green Dragon and I made a stop at World Market in Avon, this Malbec caught my attention.
Viu Manent wines come from the Colchagua Valley region, about 80 miles southwest of Santiago. Located within the Rapel Valley sub-region, Colchagua Valley is closed by the Andes at the east end and opens up to the Coastal Range and the Pacific Ocean to the west. This results in an ideal microclimate with the full influence of the Pacific Ocean and fresh breezes from the Andes.
The Malbec Reserve is sourced from blocks with an average age of 40 to 50 years in San Carlos, Colchagua Valley. Beautiful deep violet in color, the wine is a bit of a surprise. First the tannins are strong and while it delivers some pleasing currant and blackberry flavor notes, it also has a bit of earth and bitter chocolate.
It took a while for this wine to grow on me, but it did. Green Dragon gave it a passing grade, but for me the bitter qualities were a turn off. This was a “what the heck” purchase since it cost only $6.
Rating: 2 of 5   Value: 3 of 5
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