Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Malbecs for Fall with Sausage

Malbec and Merlot with Sausage and Spaetzle

Fall is a great season for enjoying rich sausages with German style spaetzle dumplings. Check these favorites preferred by my tasting panel.

DeLille Cellars 2016 Quintessence, Red Mountain - $54

The new DeLille Cellars winery in Woodinville.
The Quintessence Vineyard on Red Mountain was developed beginning in 2010 and has become a favorite of respected winemakers throughout the region. The large vineyard is on the eastern edge of the AVA and is planted to a wide selection of clones of the most popular red grape varieties. My tasters found this blend of Malbec (71%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (29%) to be superbly structured and offering the best aromas and flavors of the flight. Look for dark blueberry and black currant with notes of spicy oak, earthy tar and hints of violets.

Amancaya 2017 Reserve Red, Mendoza - $20

This is one of two wines produced in Argentina by a partnership of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and the Catena family of the Mendoza. A blend of 72% Malbec with 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine has gained a fabulous reputation for quality and value. Aromas of dark cherry, white flowers and dried dark fruits lead to a rich palate of dark berry wrapped in toasty oak and baking spices.

CARO 2016 Red Blend, Mendoza, Argentina - $55

The partnership of Catena/Rothschild described above is abbreviated in the brand name to Bodegas CARO for the names of the principals.  In this vintage, the blend was predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon (83%) and shows elegant aromas and flavors of cassis, blackberry, earthy olive, spicy oak and hints of vanilla and violets.

Santa Julia 2017 Malbec, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina - $13

The Zuccardi family planted their first vines in Mendoza over 50 years ago and has been a protagonist in improving the Argentine wine industry. Julia Zuccardi represents her family’s fame with this eponymous Reserva Malbec of great quality. Look for ripe aromas and flavors of cherry, blackberry and plum with toasty notes of spicy oak and flavors of dark chocolate on the finish.

Abacela 2015 Malbec, Reserve, East Hill Block - $42

Abacela winery is known for producing wines of Old World style with balance and structure, minimizing overripe fruit and excessive oak. My tasters were somewhat surprised to find ample new oak character in this powerful reserve wine. After breathing time (recommended for this selection) allowed the complex fruit of cherry, plum and blackberry to show through with wood notes of vanilla, baking spice and toast.

Aruma 2017 Malbec, Mendoza - $15

The name “Aruma” was chosen for this wine as the word for “night” in the language of the native indian population of the Mendoza. The producers (Bodegas CARO) believed this to be an appropriate expression of the dark Andes nights and clear air of the region. A lovely wine of pure Malbec, one appreciates aromas and flavors of plum, red fruits and hints of oak with great affinity for pairing with food.

Thurston Wolfe 2017 Malbec, Horse Heaven Hills - $25

Wade Wolfe and Becky Yeaman started their small family winery in 1987 after Wade had spent a decade helping grow the Washington wine industry through vineyard management and winery operations. This flavorful Malbec comes from the McKinley Springs Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. Look for aromas of French and American oak wrapping a core of blueberry, plum and baking spices.

Rolling Bay 2016 Malbec, Snips Mountain, Upland Vineyard - $36

Grapes for Rolling Bay wines came from Upland Vineyard on Snipes Mountain in the central Yakima Valley.  Grapes were first planted here in 1917 and are the oldest wine grape vines in Washington State. Alphonse de Klerk makes Rolling Bay wines at his small winery on Bainbridge Island in Washington’s Puget Sound region. My tasters enjoyed aromas and flavors of dark cherry, earthy plum and berry with notes of caramel and vanilla and hints of tobacco on the finish.

Malbecs for Fall with Sausage

Malbec and Merlot with Sausage and Spaetzle Fall is a great season for enjoying rich sausages with German style spaet...