There is a select group of under-$20 Malbecs from Argentina that really do the country and the variety proud. Santos is one of them; the 2006 is easy and ripe on the nose, with lovely cola, berry and herb aromas. The palate has a natural feel and bright black-fruit flavors. Not overly complex but a winner for the…— M.S.
Smooth and full of cool aromas like cola, damp earth and berry pie. The mouth comes alive with vivacious plum and blackberry fruit, while the finish features drive and length. Juicy and lush, with a saturated palate and fine balance. A single-vineyard wine with poise and class.— M.S.
Scratchy raspberry aromas lend some harshness to the bouquet, but that’s replaced soon after by earthy berry fruit notes. The palate is plump and full, with chunky, thick flavors of black fruit that are nice but quiet. Fruity, jammy and easygoing throughout. Drink now into 2012.— M.S.
Savory and ripe. The nose starts with earthy fruit combined with leather and mushroom. The palate is deep and full, with notes of brandied cherries, sautéed porcini and chocolate. Fades a bit on the finish, leaving coffee and bitter chocolate. Very good, with just the slightest herbal character.— M.S.
This Malbec from a cool vintage opens with a mix of gritty plum and jammy berry aromas. In the mouth, it’s deep enough but compact. Flavors of herbal plum, minty oak and wild berry finish with a mild herbal note and juicy acidity.— M.S.
Bright boysenberry aromas offer a touch of sugar beet and perfume, while the palate is all about jammy berry flavors with dark, lush shadings. Firm on the finish, with no holes to speak of. Undeniably ripe, with a good feel and plenty of richness. Imported by The Global Vineyard.— M.S.
The nose includes rubbery whiffs of berry, cherry and leather. On the palate, it feels solid but tomatoey, with zesty red-fruit acidity and flavors of red plum, herb, tobacco and spice. It turns more charred and peppery on the finish.— M.S.
Very red and slightly grassy on the nose, with aromas of strawberry, mint leaf and rhubarb. It’s a juicy screamer in the mouth, with intensity, blazing acidity and wild raspberry and plum flavors. Dry, tight and long on the finish.— M.S.