RKS Wines: Bonarda, Should Malbec Be Worried?

Years ago the Argentinians launched International Malbec Day. I suppose then we won’t be seeing Bonarda Day? There is a certain mass appeal to the plush and lush Malbec. Perhaps that is why you see so much more Argentinian Malbec than Bonarda in Canada.

How about the Lamadrid Bonarda which was ranked #37 in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Best Buys of 2020 earning a score of 91. Like the best Argentinian Malbecs it is also from Mendoza. On the nose one gets the sense of a sharper and more peppy wine than a Malbec. Malbec reminds of a stout and sleepy goutish character. Loads of freshly picked red fruit with a tad of coal reminiscent of grapes grown in volcanic soil. On the palate the tannins are on the light side. The wine has a perky and fresh taste. Very well integrated acidity with a slightly peppery finish. Some coal, cactus pear, cola and black cherry in a tight anxiety ridden finish. I sense the fruit might make a “Great Escape” in a couple of years. For food I think a Bachalau might suit this or a shrimp and feta tart.

Malbec and Bonarda appear to be diametrically opposed.

(Lamadrid Single Vineyard Bonarda 2019, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, Bodega    Lamadrid, Mendoza Argentina, $16.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 232652, 750 mL, 14%, RKS Wine 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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