In the world of Malbec there are two very distinct types, one associated with the “New World” of wine especially Argentina and the other linked to the “Old World” of wine notably Cahors an appellation in Southwest France. Despite coming from the New World of Chile the 2013 Concha Y Toro Gran Reserva Series Riberas Malbec decidedly falls into the older style of Malbec wine.
Not a remarkable color in and of itself this is a dark and inky purple wine, though if the light is bright enough the liquid at the edge has a reddish tint and the refraction through the glass is a pretty picture, almost a Star of Bethlehem affect. Much more striking than the eye is the full bouquet of black and blueberries that rises smoothly up from the glass to meet your nose. The fruit aroma is balanced on the back end by an earthiness that makes the whole package worth spending a little time deciphering the components. As you would expect the Concha Y Toro Gran Reserva Series Riberas Malbec has a dominant middle presence flavor with little offset on the open and close as it moves across your palate. But oh what a mid palate experience it is, dark berries and brown spices that has a nice tart sour cherry essence toward the end, like the bouquet this is a deceptively complex mix of flavors worth sipping and savoring and not gulping. There is nothing sweet in this bottle, instead what you get is a dry red wine that has darkness in color and“dirtiness” in flavor that when framed with slight tannins makes this a wine for consumers who like to explore their glass of wine. Those who take the time to extract the visual, aroma and taste sensations will find pleasure, but for those who just want a quaffable light hearted beverage for their evening you might pass this one by.
For those willing to devote the time to appreciating or just want to see a different style than most Malbec on our retail shelf you can find the 2013 Concha Y Toro Gran Reserva Series Riberas Malbec at ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. It is not available in all stores, however you can easily order for pickup at your favorite location either through their website or at the store itself next time you are shopping. Expect to pay around the $15 mark, a reflection on the popularity of Malbec wine and the effort put into the bottle by the folks at Conch Y Toro. Bottom line this is not a wine for everyone, I am partial to the older, earthier style of Malbec which makes this a no brainer for me, as well as those folks that want to experience the difference between the “New World” and “Old World” characteristics. In the end that difference should be enough to encourage folks to try this wine while savoring the past year, reflecting on the year to come or having a willingness to expand their wine drinking horizons.