The 2014 Gascon Malbec, originating from the Mendoza region of Argentina, was exactly the kick of spice and dark fruits that I wanted tonight to accompany my steak. I opted for London Broil and a side salad, and the pepper seasoning of the meat and the onions in the mixed greens needed something substantive in terms of wine pairings. The Gascon lived up to the task.
This isn’t my first bottle of Gascon but first of the vintage. The Notes review of the 2009 you can read here. What of the Mendoza region?
- Mendoza is responsible for nearly two thirds of all Argentinian wine production.
- It is located in the foothills of the Andes mountains, which is one of the highest elevations for grape growing worldwide.
- Mendoza soil is predominantly loose sand over clay, which means less to this reviewer but is perhaps relevant to you, reader, so I include nevertheless.
- The region has only a few centimeters of rain all year, which means its vineyards depend on irrigation, but with four seasons and no extreme temperature swings Mendoza sounds highly conducive to grape growing.
The result of all this environment? A rich, layered Malbec that has blackberry and pepper spices to offer. It pours dark and luscious in the glass, and has great aromas that I can’t quite define for you. It’s full. It’s got a really nice, even finish. The 2014 Gascon is readily available at your local grocery store or wine distributor, and it is very affordable at less than $15 per bottle. Needless to say it complemented the meal effectively.
Of the 2014 Gascon Malbec, the winemaker says, “Dark fruit flavors intertwine with notes of spice, licorice, and chocolate to create a magnificent, full-bodied Malbec.”
I recently enjoyed “high altitude” wine in the form of the 2005 Bodega Classica Hacienda Lopez de Haro Reserva, which is too small a sample size to know if the altitude is an influence on my tastes or merely coincidence. A good hypothesis to explore, though, right? The journey is sometimes even better than the destination.