Posts Tagged ‘ mendoza

2008 Bramare Vina Cobos Lujan de Cuyo Malbec

Ryan’s been keeping up lately, so I thought I’d step my game up and open a bottle I have been saving for about a month (long time, I know). I thought I’d take a minute while I’m waiting for the wine to open up to get this post started.

Bramare 2008 Bottle

Bramare 2008 Bottle

I’m a huge fan of Malbec, particularly the 2006 vintage. I posted last winter about two amazing 2006 bottles that I was fortunate enough to have before they started to disappear (or sell for $50+ per bottle). The inky texture, the blackberry and heavy, jammy flavor and mouth feel… well it’s like getting kicked in the face with awesome. Currently I’m getting some notes of actual ink off of this puppy, like the Bic pen kind. Sort of gummy. The nose is a little confusing, like sensory overload. Black and blueberry bubble gum. That’s what I’ve decided.

So, I’ve tasted this before and it’s overly hot if it doesn’t open up for a little while, so let’s learn some shit about Bramare together.

Bramare is the Italian word for “to yearn for”. The back of the bottle says that the grapes are “sourced from premier vineyards in the Lujan de Cuyo appellation, located at 945 to 1100 meters elevation in Mendoza. Aged 18 months in small oak barrels.” Wikipedia tells us that this particular area sits “on alluvial soils; sandy or stony surfaces on clay substrata.” I’m very interested to see how this plays out in the wine, as I’m a big fan of the sand and clay terroir. This is their “middle-tier” wine, by the way. Selling at a middle-tier price of around $42.

I have been having some rather long and intensely satisfying conversations with Ryan about what we’re going to be trying this winter, and after spending the last two or three years really delving into the wine world with him, it’s very interesting to see that we’re taking two distinctly different paths. From what I understand, Ryan broke his Cotes du Rhone cherry a few weeks ago–something I’m pretty thrilled about. CdR is one of my favorite regions. Syrah and Grenache are bomb-ass varietals, not to mention the insanely value-driven pricing on most CdRs. You can buy a (rated) bottle for $8.99-$12.99. Sure they can stretch up to $30 for the super high-end stuff, but who is going to drink that when there is so much good to be had in the 99%’s price range? Condescension! Fuck the proletariat! I just like good wine. I’d also like to say that Ryan is talking about getting into Chardonnays, and I’m very excited that he may be able to point me in the direction of some the more awesome, toasted apple, medium-bodied Chards that are out there. It’s beginning to get a little chilly in Michigan to be sucking down all those summer-month refreshing drinks, so something with a little toast and body to it sounds amazing.

This wine is totally bubblegum on the nose. Thick, jammy, succulent bubblegum. I can’t get my nose far enough into the glass. I think I’m going to start drinking it through my nostrils if I don’t start sipping. I’ll give you guys a little peek before I start, though:

triple threat.

Revised Conclusion

I had originally written a completely different conclusion, but upon completion, more tasting, and a little more waiting, this wine is starting to show more promise. I WILL leave the original conclusion after this post so you can see my first thoughts. Let me just tell you I’ve been letting this wine open for over an hour, I’ve been shaking, swirling, sloshing, letting it oxidize. This is not a “open and drink” kind of wine at all. It is hot. It is slightly unforgiving. My twisted taste buds think that the acid–and something… what I feel like is the beginning of sediment?–is sweet to the tongue. But this isn’t so bad. Third pour is revealing a more complex structure, a kinder tongue, and fuller mouth, and that INSANE tongue-biting finish you’d expect from a fucking Barbaresco. I don’t know what this wine is trying to be, but it’s not like any kind of Malbec I’ve ever had before. Tart blueberry is appearing in the mouth and nose, but there is still a lot of bubblegum ink. I’m raising my opinion of this to an 85, and recanting my “there is zero structure” statement. I will say with 100% certainty that this is a $12 bottle of Malbec that stole its older brother’s ID and went out drinking at dive bars until 12am trying to hook up with 5′s.

Original Conclusion

This is extremely disappointing, and I’m not sure what to think about it. Hot on the tongue, narrow mouth, and almost sickeningly sweet on the finish. There is acid, I will give it that much… But so much alcohol. My nose is running profusely after having tasted this. A few more rinses reveal that there is very little to this wine: tons of ink… The flavor IS like bubblegum–in that it loses its flavor far too quickly and it’s all just manufactured anyway. So disappointing. I was going to give the other bottle I have of this to someone as a present, but no way am I going to insult a wine drinker by giving him this wine. This will be another “oh I’ve run out of anything else to drink” bottle. I’m going to go make some pasta and red sauce, as it seems like that would be a good match. Plenty of red sauce.

I actually just looked at the bottle to see that this is 14.9% abv, a little on the high side for Malbec, which ranges from 13.5% to 14.5%.

I’m a pretty heavy drinker, and I like my booze–some would tell you I love it–but if I tasted this blind without knowing how much it cost, I’d spit it out and order a house cab before taking another sip. Suck it Bramare: 80.

Argentina v 2.0

So, I was pretty impressed last night, so I went looking for something in the same vein. I read a little bit about the 2006 vintage and decided I wanted to stick with it, so I headed out to Binny’s.

Boom! Headshot.

2006, Terrazas Reserva. 3,500 feet up in Mendoza, they are aging these grapes in 20% American oak barrels and 80% French oak (same as the Rutini). The result is almost as fabulous as last night. A nose that makes you want to drink the stuff before it opens up, and a color that makes you think you’re an MLD, because nothin’ is as thick as blood, yeah brah? The mouth on this stuff is like walking through a tar pit made of blackberries with blueberries sprinkled in. Seriously, the fruit is great, and the acid and tannins on the tongue are a little more than subtle. The finish is about 15 seconds. Short, but good. My tongue continues to be sapped by the tannins for up to a minute, but there is no residual flavor.

Overall, I think this is damn good Malbec at the $16 price point, and I would definitely get a 6 of this to hang on to for a while if I had a place with viable storage conditions.

omg malbec

So like, it’s Wednesday… time to get wasted, amirite? My roommate recently made a trip to Argentina, and since he knows booze is like crack for me, he was kind enough to return with a bottle of Malbec, wrapped in paper just for me.


That’s what it says on the label. Along with “2006″. Oh, and “MALBEC”. There’s more mexican on there but it’s worthless to you. Well, unless you want to know where it was bottled. Which you don’t care about. If you really want to know, it’s a city about 400 miles north and west of where my roommate was on his trip. Feel special because I used a poorly-zoomed google map and my fingers to figure that out for you.

This wine is boss. I’ve been disappointed by so many wines lately. Roughly the last 30 to 40 bottles I’ve had haven’t been exactly what I’ve thought they would be. Oh, they’ve been fine, but they aren’t the delicate blackberry that resonates on my palate, they aren’t the tobacco that sticks to my tongue, they aren’t the leathery fruit that fills my nose. And they CERTAINLY aren’t EVERYTHING THE COLOR SAYS THEY SHOULD BE. This baby is opaque. I haven’t had a wine like this since last spring. I’ve actually been so disappointed by everything I’ve had recently that I took one look at the color and said to myself “this will never be as good as it looks.” The color around the edges looks like the shore of a ruby ocean, with the shallows quickly dropping off into depths unknown. The vapors coming from the ocean were my first hint that this would be a good experience. They were laden with fruit–thick–viscous, even! Dare I say, there was a finish in the bouquet?

So I swirled, I swirled some more, and I finally tasted. Magic! Medium-full body! Good! Red and black fruit! I haven’t tasted it in so long (lies–I’ve been eating raspberries en masse for weeks)! Finish! It finishes like the Nebbiolo I’ve been convincing myself I should be trying in the summer. The tannins are sucking my tongue dry, but only after the fruit delicately fills my mouth–like a wave lapping the shore.

I wish I had a case of this stuff, because it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Oh and, as a sidebar, this is AFTER he checked his bag on over 13 hours of flying with this in it.

Legit, this is all I want to write about this wine, because I need to go drink it in tranquility/dancing and spilling it all over my naked body.