Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

Spanish Rioja, Argentine Malbec - America's Darlings

Last week's theme was wines from two continents that both speak the same language. While we admit that this is one of our stranger ideas, it turns out that the wines themselves were very well received. There were three Malbecs from Argentina and three Riojas from Spain.
January 24, 2018


        We began with the 2014 Finca La Linda Malbec which is as good and as balanced an expression of this grape variety that we have found for the money. Tasters agreed and all the comments were about value.

        Then the 2016 Bodega Renacer Malbec Punta Final showed quite a bit more with both richness and spice in the mix. This became one of the favorites of the night. The 2014 Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard is a single vineyard wine made in a decidedly European style with polish and subtlety. The first bottle was corked but we soon fixed that. The second bottle found lots of admirers.

        Next up were the three Riojas. All were mostly Tempranillo with small amounts of blending grapes. The 2014 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza showed a more modern style with plenty of fruit and just a touch of oak. This was very well liked. The 2011 Franco Espanolas Bordon Rioja Reserva is an exact cross between modern and traditional style and tasters really went for this one. There were numerous comments about the very attractive flavors and balance. The 2010 Marques de Vargas Rioja Reserva is a traditional style with an earthy herbal note. This one took some time to open up and showed better later on in the tasting. Then it beacame a favorite.


2012 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza: Good fruit with a spicy, toasted edge. Well balanced and persistent with cherry, licorice and smooth tannins. Very Good Plus 18.99; Mixed Case, 17.09; Case, 16.14

2011 Franco Espanolas Bordon Rioja Reserva: Bright ruby. Full flavor with great balance of oak and fruit and textured tannins. Tart red cherry. Plum and pepper all make an appearance. Very Good to Excellent 22.99; Mixed Case, 20.69; Case, 19.54

2010 Marques de Vargas Rioja Reserva: Deep ruby. Wild strawberry and raspberry with bramble, licorice and savory spice. Notes of earthy plum and very good tannic structure. Very Good to Excellent 28.99; Mixed Case, 26.09; Case, 24.64

2014 Finca la Linda Malbec la Linda; Aroma: light clean fresh raher pretty, very pretty, fresh, clean, light spice; Mouth: clean smooth rather fresh, juicy fine acid clean, smooth clean juicy; Very Good 11.99; Mixed Case, 10.79; Case, 10.19

2016 Bodega Renacer Malbec Punto Final: Deep ruby, purple rim. Red and black currant, blackberry and plum, accented by pepper, clove and wood spice with hints of oaky vanilla. Very Good Plus 14.99; Mixed Case, 13.49; Case, 12.74

2014 Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard; Aroma: vry fresh, pretty violets, nice intensity, very richly aromatic that incises more than hammers the nose; Mouth: smoothy very rich, sweet fruit, light fresh acidity, very clean lifted, long violet -inflected finish ; Very Good Plus 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29

1-24 Rioja Malbec Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $196

Instore only 1-24 Rioja Malbec Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $104


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Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts!


            - Len Rothenberg


(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2018