Food & Wine Photo Credit: Familia Gascon

An Amazing Argentine Bottle That Surprises

Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Familia Gascon Malbec 2012 $14

I’m working on a story about the coming renaissance in Argentine wines with the thesis being that, aside from the  passionate pioneers in Salta and Patagonia, the sub-region specific wine coming out of  Mendoza (like the Uco Valley, Lujan de Cuyo) represent some of the most amazing wine in the $25-40 range. I wanted to make sure that people didn’t confuse these handcrafted wines with the sub-$15 Argentine wine that’s so prevalent here in the West.

Feeling quite clever I went to the kitchen and absentmindedly unscrewed a bottle my wife had opened the day before. It had some nice fruit and focussed freshness that was a bit eye-opening. I went a rechecked the bottle—and yes it was one of those sub-$15 Argentine wines that I had just been thinking about. But it wasn’t sweet or confected or overly oaked—if anything it tasted a touch like a Cot (the terms the French use for Malbec grown in Cahors and theLoire) with its vibrancy.

To be honest, I didn’t quite believe it, so this morning, after a bowl of granola and greek yogurt I tried it again. My kids looked at me like I had a problem. But I didn’t: I liked the wine even better the third day open. The obvious and aggressive fruit tones were more muted, ditto the oak, and it became a slightly more serious wine and a solid deal at $14 (I went on the US site wine.com to look into the wine and noticed the 2012 vintage was both $16 and sold out).

Still, those $25-40 bottles are amazing, but sometimes the sub$15 ones are too.

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