Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2011


Brand: Terrazas de los Andes was founded in 1999. In addition to owning multiple vineyards throughout Mendoza, it is the largest landowner in Vistalba, the premium Malbec producing area in Mendoza. Terrazas de los Andes is a brand of the family run, French luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH [Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE]. LMVH “strives to ensure the long-term development of each of its Houses in keeping with their identity, their heritage and their expertise”.

Winemaking: The vineyards are sustainably farmed; natural irrigation is employed which utilizes melted snow from the Andes Mountains. 100% of the water used is recycled. Grapes were sourced from terraced vineyards located 3500 feet above sea level. Aged 12 months in oak [80% French, 20% American], with 30% new oak. The Reserva line is hand harvested and crafted to “stand out for their aromatic intensity and complex style”.

Tasting Notes: Inky red violet in colour with exuberant aromas of tart red fruit, black pepper, and hints of funky earth along with subtle campfire smoke. Soft cherry and blackberry flavours are buoyed by firm tannins and engaging layers of repeating flavours [earth, peppery spices, chocolate, toasted oak and smoke] Fruit and chili-spiced dark chocolate on the lengthy finish keep you reaching for more.

100% Malbec
Produced & Bottled by Terrazas de los Andes
14% Alcohol
$19 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2017

Interested in giving it a pour? Check it out at Wine Chateau

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Old York Cellars Dry Riesling & Malbec Tasting

I had the pleasure of participating in a Virtual Vines discussion with winemaker Scott Gares of Old York Cellars, sommelier Laurin Dorman and Chef Jonas Gold of 55 Main. Old York Cellars is located in the Ringoes section of Hunterdon County and contains some of the oldest vineyards in New Jersey. Owner David Wolin currently has 12 acres of vineyards, cultivating a diverse selection including Barbera, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Syrah and Riesling. In addition to award winning wines and a lovely tasting room, they also hold special events such as art exhibits, yoga classes and Master Chef Dinners.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the tasting presented a timely spotlight on wine pairings. Chef Jonas Gold presented a variety of modern and classic dishes utilizing traditional thanksgiving ingredients such as pumpkin, roasted veggies and turkey. Whilst the two wines range in flavour and style, they are both versatile companions to a wide variety of dishes, especially Thanksgiving cuisine.


Old York Cellars Dry Riesling 2013
Bright gold in colour with crisp green apple harmonizing with a vivid acidity, making it a fantastic pairing with rich dishes. Traces of honeysuckle on the dry finish.
100% Riesling
13.1% Alcohol


Old York Cellars Malbec 2013
A crowd-pleaser with bold fruit flavours and an earthy backbone. Soft tannins, oak, vanilla and chocolate elements comprise the velvety finish.
100% Malbec
13.8% Alcohol



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Montes Malbec 2012


A rustic, velvety Malbec at a fantastic price that can hold its own with bold flavours.

Estate: Montes was founded in the late 1980’s by four wine professionals with the goal of crafting “Chilean wines a quantum-leap higher in quality than the standards” that were currently in practice. Founder and winemaker Aurelio Montes professes “80% of good wine comes from the vineyards and only 20% from the cellar”. With that in mind, the estate not only employs sustainable viticulture, they also aim at conserving the environment. Currently they have conserved 400 hectares of indigenous forest on the Maule region, along with protecting biological corridors that enable the natural development of both plant and animal life. Preservation of the environment has resulted in the estate [including both farming and winemaking activities] to be Carbon Neutral as the forest absorbs all of the CO2 produced.

Philosophy: “To make wines of the highest quality while caring for the environment and our people and developing a sustainable culture in every phase of production.”

Winemaking: Montes Classic is the “ambassador” label of the estate, “representing the outstanding value Chile can offer for everyday drinking”. Grapes were sourced from vines nearly 100 years old, aged for six months in oak and then only lightly filtered.

Tasting Notes: Violet-red in colour with aromas of plum, chocolate and wet leaves. Black cherry, blackberry and hints of coffee wrapped around an earthy core, whilst velvety tannins, nuances of vanilla and slightly bitter herbaceous elements comprised the cleansing finish.

100% Malbec
Colchagua Valley
Produced and Bottled by Montes S.A.
14.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2015

Cellier du Boulez Malbec 2012


During a recent wine shopping excursion in NYC I happily happened upon a French Malbec at the $10 price point. I was unable to locate any information regarding the winery or growers, except that there may be some affiliation with Astor Wines in NYC.

Dark red-violet in colour with aromas of black cherry, tobacco and hints of vanilla bean. Earth notes and firm tannins supported black cherry and plum flavours, whilst black peppercorn, slightly bitter herbs and hints of sour cherry comprised the clean finish. This is a well-composed, rustic glass great with a wide variety of dishes.

Malbec with Alicante [I was unable to confirm varietal percentage]
Coteaux de Peyriac
13% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2015

Astica Malbec 2012

Although wildly popular in the States, I’m not the hugest fan of Argentinean Malbec. There have been some that I enjoyed and others that I thought were rather bleak. I realize that this is mostly just my personal taste, but it does cause me to purchase it infrequently as there are so many other bottles I would rather give a pour to. However, since I’m seemingly always on a tight budget, when I caught site of Astica Malbec 2012 with its friendly, modern looking label for $5, I thought it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. Astica is a value label under the Trapiche umbrella, Argentina’s largest producer and exporter of wine. Trapiche was founded in 1883 and is located in Mendoza. The grapes were sourced from the Cuyo Valley and vinified in a fruit-forward style.

Dark red-violet in colour with aromas of autumn leaves and sweet berries. Tart red currant and blackberry flavours joined smooth dry tannins in the light to medium body, whilst bitter earth and tobacco elements comprised the brief finish. Although a little flat for my personal taste, this is a simple well constructed mix of sweet fruit and dry tannins, overall a competent companion at the table and a good value.

100% Malbec
Produced and Bottled by Astica
12.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2014