A Little Birdie Told Me“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”

Where you may wish to cry is for Argentina’s hunting down of political dissidents and their murder and disappearance between 1976-83 those days hopefully will never return to Argentina although this butchery currently exists in Iran and Myanmar.

Moving on the more cheerful matters we try a Ben Marco Malbec from the Valle de Uco in the Mendoza region. This wine is certainly not a newbie at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) but it has been a while since I have tried it so you might say I come to it without memories.

The wine has a purple colour. On the nose blackberry, black currant, plum and a dusting of milk chocolate. Quite rich. Some moderate tannins. On the palate black cherry, blueberry and cranberry muffins. Thank goodness there are enough acids here to keep the tannins in check. This is a full-bodied wine with much depth to it. It is firm and dense but the fruit is well managed and not oozing out of a bathing suit like a Russian grandmother bathing in the Caspian Sea. It is a pleasure to sip and what a match with steak and chimichurri sauce or mushroom ragout over polenta. The grapes were grown at 3,000 metres altitude which helps ensure it is not flabby and clumsy like some low altitude Malbecs. No crying over this wine. It was aged in used oak barrels for 11 months and you have difficulty detecting the oak which should be the case with most wines as don’t you like wine over wood?

(Benmarco Malbec 2018, Los Chacayes, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Dominio del Plata Argentina, $19.95, LCBO # 657601, 14.5%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 94/100).

We move to a Los Haroldos 2018 Bonarda from Mendoza. It is black cherry in colour and almost purple. On the nose loads of black cherry, blackberry and plum all tightly knit together. Moderate tannins. There is some black cherry, blackberry and a touch of pepper on the palate. The finish is short. This is a well made and tightly bound wine quite like the Benmarco Malbec above. But I say it is more food centric and it would pair well with beef or some pasta e ceci (Roman chickpeas with pasta). I think it needs a couple more years to smooth out. Aged in oak for 6 months and most likely older oak as it is subtle, thank goodness.

At $14.95 no tears need be shed for Argentina.

(Los Haroldos Estate Bonarda 2018, Mendoza, $14.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 629626, 13%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 89/100).

Fittingly and hopefully not in reality we try a wine Fin Del Mundo from Patagonia. I am not quite ready for the end of the world quite yet.

As for colour black cherry bordering on purple. As for aromas black cherry, blackberry, raspberry layered over by a smoky tinge. As for the taste it’s on the juicy lip-smacking side of things. There is sweet red cherry and rhubarb pie. All said and done this is a lively wine. A good Malbec but not an excellent one. No sense in cellaring this one. It would have been good with the homemade pizza tonight especially if my homemade dough had not been frozen. Yes I have become a tyrant with my bread machine. This is my third one. The previous one gave up the ghost a decade ago but it made such good pizza dough I decided to snap up a Cuisinart bread maker at COSTCO for $99 which certainly beat the Cuisinart website price of $150. My previous bread maker pizza dough recipe used beer instead of water. The beer-based dough is superior.

(Fin Del Mundo 2018 Malbec, Patagonia, Bodega Fin Del Mundo, Patagonia, Argentina, $ 15.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 17381, 14.5%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen Set The Bar Rating 89/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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