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Wine of the week: 2015 Cigar Box Malbec 

Mendoza, Argentina

Retail $12-$13

Transplanted from France, malbec grapes have flourished in Argentina's terroir. The nation's malbec wines often are approachable when young, easy-drinking and food-friendly, with fine tannins and good balance and structure. This wine is made from grapes from a single old-vine vineyard in Lujan de Cuyo, one of Mendoza's top subregions. Hand-harvested grapes are destemmed and partially crushed, after which a 48-hour cool prefermentation maceration is used to extract primary flavors and aromas. Fermentation occurs over 10 days in temperature-controlled tanks, and the wine is exposed to oak before bottling. In the glass, the wine offers aromas of dark berries, cherry and hints of vanilla and spice. On the palate, the wine is both rich and rustic, with flavors of ripe plum, pomegranate, spice and chewy tannins. Decant 30 minutes before serving. Drink it with cassoulet, beef kebabs, rack of lamb, rosemary roasted fowl, grilled sausages, meatballs and spaghetti and other pasta dishes with tomato sauce. Buy it at: Dorignac's Food Center and Breaux Mart in Metairie. Drink it at: Cello's in Metairie.


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