The ALDI Exquisite Collection Mendoza Malbec 2016 is a $6.99 ALDI exclusive sourced from vineyards in the Mendoza region located in the foothills of the Andes in central western Argentina. Mendoza is responsible for 75% of the wine being produced in Argentina. When you see Mendoza as the source location on the front wine label, that indicates the grapes game from several growing areas inside Mendoza. Some of the best sub-regions for Malbec in Mendoza are the Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu, and the Uco Valley, and wines sourced exclusively from these sub-regions tend to be more expensive, but often only a few dollars more. The higher the altitude of the growing area and the individual vineyard the more highly regarded they tend to be. ALDI does not give much technical information concerning the growing and production of this Malbec, but the back label does mention high altitude vineyards. High altitude vineyards are desirable for several reasons, for one thing bugs, pests, and diseases that can plague vineyards don’t thrive this high up and the high altitude gives the grapevines intense exposure to the sun while still maintaining cool temperatures to insure a long growing season. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color (in the Cahors region of France, Malbec is known as the “Black Wine”) is a barely see-thru raspberry jam red with black highlights. The nose is blackberry, slightly smokey, a little gamey, with a touch of spice, and black licorice. This is a medium-bodied, dry Malbec, with good fruit flavors and a solid amount of structure. It tastes of extracted blackberry, black pepper, ripe plum, and a slap of herbs. The mid-palate shows ripe, slightly sweet blueberry, dusty chocolate powder and a slightly rough edge for the tannins (that’s a good thing, a little structure in a Red wine never hurt anybody). The finish is full, fades before long, but lingers and lingers.
The ALDI Exquisite Collection Mendoza Malbec 2016 is a solid 7 buck wine, it’s not dumbed-down or has the edges rounded off, and it has a nice selection of interesting flavors. Since this is a supermarket wine, I would pair this Malbec with pork chops or loin or spicy fajitas, along with the usual red wine pairings of burgers and pizza. This wine is from ALDI’s so if you are preparing a meal with $10 or $12 of ingredients it doesn’t make that much sence to serve it with a $20 wine. This is a value wine perfect for a value meal.