Finca El Portillo Malbec 2005
Valle de Uco
Deep ruby red with violet hues.
Plums, strawberries and raspberries with a gentle spiciness.
Medium bodied with plenty of dark, ripe fruit (plums) on the front palate. Round and spicy mouthfeel, with a raspberry crispness to the acidity. Spices are grapeskin - a little cinnamon, a little pepper. Fairly taut tannic structure - again, skins rather than wood - with good acid length and a clean savoury and mouth-watering finish.
Finca El Portillo is Salentein's second Valle de Uco operation, and the rough Malbec-led equivalent of their Callia Syrah-based northern winery. El Portillo doesn't quite churn out the the eye-openers that Callia manages, but this Malbec is a classic spicy budget drop that smacks of ripe fruit and a long cold maceration - there's plenty of varietal extract and that's more than enough to carry it. It's straightforward, crisp, flavoursome, savoury, and sure to have you reaching for the bottle to top your glass up again.