The Wine Curmudgeon does not drink much malbec, other than to taste it so I can write write that I don ?t drink much malbec. The vast majority of the malbec we buy (and we buy wineries and wineries of it, with malbec sales up almost 50 percent in 2011) is full of sweet fruit and without balance, the dreaded cherry cough syrup style of wine.
The Trivento ($11, sample, 14%) isn ?t one of those wines. It ?s a surprisingly solid Argentine malbec that outshines most of the other $10 versions that are on store shelves. Yes, there is lots of blueberry fruit aroma and flavor, the hallmark of cheap Argentine malbec and all that most of the other wines offer.
But the Trivento also has a fine, grippy back end, and that was the surprise: Nicely done tannins and even some acid balancing all that fruit and letting you know that this is a red wine made to taste like a red wine. That ?s a rare treat.
Also surprising: The wine needs food, which is something that most of the others don ?t. Serve it with beef, as the Argentines would, or even roast chicken.