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2013 La Posta Paulucci Malbec 

Mendoza, Argentina

Retail $17-$20

Before its cultivation in Argentina, the best expression of malbec was in Cahors in southwestern France — and it is one of five grapes used in classic Bordeaux blends. It now flourishes at high elevations in the Andes. Angel Paulucci immigrated from Italy to Argentina at 21 and began growing malbec. Around the village of Ugarteche, in the Mendoza appellation, his grapevines average 38 years old. Soils are sandy loam, along with clay, silt and stone, making for excellent drainage, which encourages deep root growth. The name La Posta is a reference to a vintners' meeting place, known collectively as posta del vinatero, or "the tavern of grape growers." In the cellar, malbec was fermented and spent 12 months in 10 percent new French oak and 90 percent once-used French barrels. In the glass, the wine exhibits aromas of red berries, hints of cedar, black cherries and earthiness. On the palate, taste plum, cassis, a touch of pepper, spice notes and firm tannins. Decant an hour before serving. Drink it with rare steak, barbecue, roast beef, burgers, cassoulet and osso buco. Buy it at: Martin Wine Cellar and Dorignac's. Drink it at: Domenica, Annunciation Restaurant, Houston's and Richard Fiske's Martini Bar and Restaurant.

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