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2012 Dona Paula Black Edition Red Blend 

Mendoza, Argentina

Retail $15

Many Argentine wineries combine the nation's supple, smooth malbec grapes with bonarda, tannat and one or more of the grapes commonly used in Bordeaux blends. Founded in 1990, Dona Paula produces 97 percent of the grapes used in its widely respected wines, which it exports to 60 countries. The estate is situated in Lujan de Cuyo, a sub-region of Argentina's largest viticultural area. The hot, arid climate is moderated by the region's high altitude — averaging about 3,300 feet above sea level. This bottling brings together malbec (60 percent), cabernet sauvignon (37 percent) and petit verdot (3 percent). The winery's modern fermentation method tames these bold-flavored grapes and delivers a full-bodied wine with smooth tannins and 14.1 percent alcohol. In the glass, it has aromas of plum, dark berries and spice. On the palete, taste currants, black cherry, pepper, earthiness and hints of vanilla. Drink it with slow-cooked beef short ribs, rare steaks and grilled or barbecued meats. Buy it at: Cost Plus World Market.

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