Ahhhh Malbec...it’s almost unfair to other varietals how easy it is to find good Malbec at a great price from Argentina. The incredible terroir in Argentina has taken a grape that was not so exciting in Cahors in France and made it an everyday red winner that you can easily find in the $10-12 price range. There are also some fantastic higher end Malbecs that are a steal in the $40 to $50 range (for a review of one of my favorites see http://acoupleofwines.blogspot.com/2010/08/catena-alta-malbec-2005.html). What I haven’t seen much of on the market, though, is anything between the entry level and the high end reserve that is worth the extra money.
The makers of this Punto Final Reserva, Bodegas Renacer in the Lujan de Cayo area of Mendoza, have finally changed this for me. I have known about their entry level Malbec for years, which you can read more about here http://acoupleofwines.blogspot.com/2009/11/its-time-for-yet-another-great-value.html but I only recently discovered their reserve Malbec which retails in the high teens to low $20’s. Their wines are made by the team of Alberto Antonini, a flying winemaker from Italy, and Hector Durigutti, who is a very talented winemaker from Mendoza. Their combined effort with this Reserve Malbec is right on. The grapes for this wine are sourced from vines that are over 50 years old in the Uco Valley and Lujan de Cayo, and the wine is aged for 10 months in French oak.
In your glass, the Punto Final Reserva Malbec 2007 is very dark red in color. The nose brings aromas of blackberries, cherry, and a fantastic element of cola. On the palate, black cherry and cola dominate and like so many Argentine Malbecs, there is lots of great fruit up front. Beyond that fruit, however, are some really nice tannins that are neither too mild nor over the top, and the acidity is just right.
Overall this is a really nice Malbec that can be found for under $20 without too much trouble. It is one of the best balanced Malbecs I’ve seen in this price range, and the balance and structure that back up all the fruit really separate this from all the good Malbec out there that can be bought for a few dollars less. The extra money you’ll spend on the Punto Final Reserve is well worth it if you’re making a nice steak with an authentic Argentine chimichurri. Cheers!