AG Pick Under $15: 2003 Adagio Reserva Malbec

I like to think that Argentine Malbecs fall into two main categories.  First there are the gaucho Malbecs, rugged wines that evoke images of the Pampas and Andes with their bold, earthy flavors.  Then there are the more polished Malbecs, elegant and fruit-dominated wines that seem restrained at first but come alive more with each sip.

Adagio Reserva MalbecThe 2003 Adagio Reserva Malbec falls into the latter category.  This wine has delicate and sumptuous red fruit flavors, but still has a nice mix of spice to keep it slightly frayed on the edges.  Like its musical name suggests, Adagio Reserva Malbec is meant to be enjoyed slowly.

The Reserva Malbec is one of several Malbecs made by Viñas del Adagio in Mendoza.  The winery also produces Malbec Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Torrontés (the characteristic white wine grape of Argentina), with some of these wines under the Brumales label.

Adagio Reserva Malbec is 100% Malbec, aged for 12 months in 20% new medium toasted French oak barrels.  All of Adagio’s wines are unfiltered so you’re likely to see a light sediment in the Malbec.  I’d recommend decanting this wine, which will also enhance its taste.

The wine is deep crimson in color with a slight purple hue.  Aromas of spicy red fruits introduce flavors of cherries, boysenberries and plum that are complemented with white pepper, nutmeg and clove.  There’s a hint of vanilla on the warm and lingering finish.  Chewy tannins give the wine a firm yet supple structure.

Pair Adagio Reserva Malbec with grilled red meats and poultry like turkey or pheasant.

Adagio is new to South Florida, which means it is not yet widely available.  Right now you can find the Reserva Malbec at Sunset Corners Wines & Liquors in Miami.  Eventually it will be available at other wine shops and restaurants.

The 2003 Adagio Reserva Malbec costs around $15.