The La Finca Oak Aged Malbec 2014 is a $4.49 Trader Joe’s wine exclusive, produced by Finca La Celia (Finca translates to farm or estate), founded in 1890, from grapes grown in the Uco Valley region, in the southwest corner of Mendoza, in the foothills of the Andes in Argentina. This Malbec was aged for 3 months in oak barrels which is notable since oak wine barrels can easily cost $1,000 apiece (around 300 bottles per barrel), that is usually too pricey for a $4.50 wine. While a good portion of the oak barrels used were most likely 2nd or 3rd fills, which prorates the costs, it is rare that very inexpensive wines are barrel aged, even for a relatively short period of time. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is dark nearly opaque, raspberry jam red. The nose is not shy, rich, ripe blackberry, plum, sour cherry and a little milk chocolate. This is a medium-bodied wine, dry, soft and smooth on the palate. It tastes of black cherry, blackberry, a little licorice, a bit of vanilla and a faint hit of spice on the mid-palate. It shows soft, dusty tannins and the acidity is well-balanced by the body of the wine. The finish mirrors the body of the wine and lasts a reasonable length of time.
The La Finca Oak Aged Malbec 2014 is a very solid wine, especially considering its extremely low price tag. It will appeal more to those who prefer their Malbec to be soft, smooth and fruit forward. But even if soft and smooth isn’t your thing, you have to admire just how good a Malbec they are able to offer for under five bucks. As for pairings, this is a quintessential burgers and pizza wine, no use paying more for the wine than you do for the pizza, when you can grab a $4.49 bottle that hits the spot.