Review: 2006 Montecinco Malbec

Back fresh from my trip to Buenos Aires, I have several stories to share about the many Malbecs I consumed. Let’s start with a traditional tale and then I’ll walk you through my more spontaneous discoveries in future posts.

In search of a traditional steak dinner–I’d heard so much about how at the very best restaurants they cut steak with a spoon that I had to try this tender meat–my love and I ended up at Don Julio, on the recommendation of the receptionist at our very stylish hotel.

Wine bottles cover the walls at Don Julio in Palermo as white tablecloths dress the tables. There’s even a thin mini-table that sidles up next to each diner’s table to add a little extra elbow room. Classy!

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Flipping through the wine list, I wasn’t quite sure what to order. I have had many Malbecs before, but the familiar labels weren’t popping out at me. I decided to go with one of the oldest bottles on the menu, because, well I could never do that in my price range in the U.S., but in Buenos Aires, the exchange rate was in our favor. Like savvy travelers, we converted our money on the street-aka at the Dollar Blue┬árate–and got $12 pesos for $1, making everything extremely affordable, even a fancy steak dinner.

I ordered the Montecinco Malbec from 2006, which by the way is I think, the oldest vintage I’ve had.

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It was unlike any Malbec I had had before. It won’t wow you at first sip. This is a wine you have to sit on for awhile. At first, my dining partner didn’t like how thin the wine tasted, but it grew on him after the wine’s flavors developed over the course of dinner. The cherry red wine tasted of plums, currants and even cigarettes–it’s that dirty, smoky feel– and developed a bit of a tang after it sat open for awhile. I liked it, but if you’re looking for a chewy, fruity bomb, this isn’t it.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Winery: Montecinco
  • Type: Malbec
  • Origin: Mendoza
  • Vintage: 2006
  • Price: about 200 pesos, or roughly $16 with Dollar Blue exchange rate, $27 at the traditional rate
  • Alcohol content: 14.4%
  • When to drink: This wine is meant for meat. Drink it like we did, with a big hunk of Bife de Lomo (tenderloin) topped with chimichurri.

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