No-Guilt Wednesday Wine: The Double Dip Edition: 2009 Viacava Malbec Reserve & 2007 Celler de Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica Old Vines   Leave a comment


Wednesday night, I found myself at Ms. R’s around the time that I should be having dinner.  Funny that.  Dinner, complements of Ms. R’s mother, was on the stove. Arroz con Pollo (that’s rice and chicken for the uninitiated).   Good thing I brought along an Argentine Malbec.  Or so I thought.

2009 Viacava Malbec Reserve San Juan, Argentina ($8):  I honestly wanted to like this wine.  I poured, swirled, sniffed, sniffed some more, sipped.  But it wasn’t doing it for me.  In fact, it reminded me of the flavor profile that led me, not so long ago, to dislike Malbec.  I let it sit, and it got a little bit better.  But I still was not feeling it.   The nose really had nothing going on.  Also, I found the fruit to be a little unbalanced.  For $8, my expectations should not be so high, I know.  But the criticism of this wine was not universal.  Ms. R disagreed with me, though she described it as an easy drinking middle of the week kind of wine.  Oh hell, why not just say that’s “smooth” sweetheart!   “Enough!” said I, as I went in search of another bottle.  Thankfully, between Ms. R, her mother and visiting sister,  I did not have to drink this stuff.  Rated *

Ladies, you can drink this shallow Malbec, if you like.  But for me, only two words will do– “No Mas!”  Or on reconsideration perhaps Mas is the way to go.  So I reached for a bottle of:

2007 Mas Donis Barrica Old Vines Celler de Capcanes Montsant, Spain ($13.50): Now this was more like it.  I know, this isn’t a fair comparison with the 2009 Malbec.  And, so, I won’t compare.  For bargain hunters, the wines of Montsant are always worth checking out.  Why?  Because this area, located a short drive from Barcelona, borders on Priorat, which today produces some of the world’s greatest and most expensive wines.  Now the soil in Montsant isn’t exactly the same as Priorat, but the wines do have a unique concentration and at this price, should not be passed up.  Made with 85% grenache and 15% syrah and aged for 9 months in oak, this had the nose that I typically associate with wines from this part of Spain and especially those with a component of Syrah.  It’s a generous wine that I decided to decant as out of the bottle, it was a little tight.  As the wine relaxed in its oxygen bath, it started to release different aromas of earth mixed with dark fruit complemented by a slight herbaceous edge.  While this wine did not blow me away, I would drink this on any No-Guilt Wednesday!  And yes, it went very well with Grandma’s Arroz con Pollo.  Rated ** 1/2

Follow up note, after a little bit of internet research, I found the Mas Donis via mail order for as low as $8 a bottle if you buy a case.

Posted May 27, 2011 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

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