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Tittarelli Malbec

Tittarelli MalbecTittarelli Malbec
2005, Mendoza, Argentina, $14.00 for 750 ml, 13.5% Alc.
Red Wine

I was lured into breaking my less-than-ten-bucks-a-bottle rule upon spotting this wine at the store.  Malbec?  I’d never tried that one before.  I eschewed my budget-minded ideals and handed over the cash for a taste of this elusive varietal.

The first thing (and probably the only thing) that impressed me about this particular bottle was the color.  Upon pouring it, I was struck by its unusual darkness.  It was truly a black-red tint and darker than any other wine I’ve seen.  This might have raised my expectations some for an equally unique flavor, but alas, my expectations were unrequited.  Instead, I was assailed by the sickly-sweet taste of what was probably ascetic acid.  It was so overwhelming, I really just could not enjoy it.  It tasted like nail polish remover and vinegar with a nice dose of tannins mixed in.

I visited the website and noticed that Tittarelli has won lots of high reviews on its Malbec.  However, none of the reviews posted were for the 2005 vintage that I tried.

Moral of the story is, sometimes a few extra bucks do not buy a better product.

Bottom Line:  While I’m not ready to give up on Malbec — and I might even grant Tittarelli another chance at some point in the future — I don’t think I’ll be trying this 2005 bottling again.

Wine’s Website:  http://www.vinostittarelli.com

Calina Reserva Merlot

Calina Reserva MerlotCalina Reserva Merlot

2006 Valle Del Maule, Chile. $8.00 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

Oh, my goodness. This Merlot is sip-licious.

And, thank heavens–I was beginning to get worried as I’ve had to post some rather negative reviews lately, but this wine has restored my faith in inexpensive grape juice.

The Calina Reserva Merlot is a luscious, dark red-purple nectar with a round, full-bodied balance of juicy blackberryness, firm tannins and a perfect bite of acidity.

Yum.

This one’s great to sip on its own or with dinner. And, the bottle is pretty.

I liked this wine so much that I decided to take a little field trip to its website. In addition to providing some helpful information on all of their wines, the site also has a fun, interactive diagram that illustrates the wine making process. If you’re new to wine, you might want to check it out. The site is simple and friendly.

Bottom line? Loved it. Even if you’re one of those folks who typically eschew Merlot, I would recommend you give the Calina Reserva a try and see what you think. Who knows? You might be converted.

wine’s website: www.calina.com







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