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2013 Achaval-Ferrer Malbec 

Mendoza, Argentina

Retail $17-$28

Transplanted from the south of France, Argentina's signature malbec grape flourishes in Mendoza's excellent growing conditions on a dry plateau at the edge of the Andes Mountains. The altitude mitigates the region's hot, dry climate with nightly, cooling, westerly winds. The region's soils have minimal organic matter, which produces small, concentrated grapes. Founded in 1998, the Achaval-Ferrer team focuses on producing wines expressing the character of this terroir. Grapes were hand-harvested and the wine matured for nine months in French oak barrels. In the glass, it offers intense aromas of cassis and blackberry and herbal and oaky notes. On the palate, taste complex flavors of plum, cherry, wild berries, pleasing minerality, hints of earth, touches of anise, spice notes and silky tannins. Decant an hour before serving. Drink it with rare steak, barbecue, sausage, poultry, wild game and mature cheeses. Buy it at: Costco, The Wine Seller, Robert Fresh Market on Robert E. Lee Boulevard and Whole Foods Market Arabella Station.

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