Old or New I have “Two Great Red Wines For You” this week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


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Good Sunday morning and welcome to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©.  Last week I discussed the difference between Old World and New World wine.  This week I’m sharing the purpose behind Old and New World wine styles.  There are two delicious red wines that I’m recommending for you too.

It is important to understand the reason and purpose behind Old World and New World wine.  Old World wines have been made to complement the food sources within their particular region.  New World wine is made to drink, not that it doesn’t pair with food well because it does. 

Old world wines are typically blended wines unless we are talking about Burgundy and Pinot Noir.  The winemakers from the Old World make wine in areas that sometimes dictate how the grapes are planted, pruned, the volume of grapes that can be produced, and how the wines are made.  This all sounds a bit drastic but in reality the Old World has been doing it for centuries and these viticulture practices are designed to bring out the best of that terroir, or sense of place.

Today I’m focusing on the Malbec varietal of grape, everyone thinks Argentina when they think of Malbec.  Yes the Argentineans do Malbec very well but the fact is that Malbec grape origins are French.

There is an area in Southwest France, Cahors.  This appellation or region is dominated by the Malbec grape.  You should think of great movies when you think about Old world wines, yes movies.  Winemakers from the Old World blend their wines.  First consider that French Wine Law in this case requires that grape types are perfectly suited to the land on which they are grown.  Old World winemakers craft terroir driven wine, wine that understands and exemplifies its sense of place.

Think about a great movie with a academy award winning actor as the lead and a strong supporting cast, you can think of a good Old World wine in the same way.  Well how about a New World wine?  I would describe a New World wine in this way; think about George Clooney performing on Broadway in a production all by himself.  A one man act, this actor is so strong he can carry the whole show by himself.  This is how I like to think about wines from the New World, luscious fruit, and perfect tang from the acid, firm structure, very well balanced with a lingering finish that you can’t forget.  Just like a one person act on Broadway, but this wine is a singular act coming from your favorite grape varietal.

Wine from the Cahors is older than Bordeaux and has a reputation for darkness and strength in its wine.  This is the only French red wine to harness the power of the Malbec grape.  In recent years, the popularity of the Malbec varietal from Argentina has contributed to a renewed interest in Cahors wine.

The areas surrounding Cahors are known for their food and hospitality.  Some of the common foods are Foie Gras, Truffles, Ducks and Geese in their various preparations.

 Cahors is an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) which forms part of the South West France wine region. The dominant grape variety in AOC Cahors wines is Malbec, which must make up a minimum of 70% of the wine, and is known locally as “Côt”, “Côt Noir” or “Auxerrois”.  It is supplemented by up to 30% Merlot and Tannat, the supporting cast from the region.  As a reflection of the character of the Malbec variety, Cahors wine can be rather tannic when young, and benefit from aging.  Cahors wine is often similar to robust versions of Bordeaux wine.

Cahors wine is harvested in the Lot and in the Bergerac, with vineyards located around Cahors city on both banks of the Lot River.  Soils are predominantly Limestone in this region.  Wines from this region are robust with nuances of spice, coffee, and a myriad of black fruit.  Cahors wines should be decanted to enjoy them at their best.  These wines do need 3-10 years of aging to be at their best.

Today’s wine recommendation from Cahor; Clos La Coutale, this is an estate grown, produced, and bottled gem from Cahor.  This wine is under $20.00 and available at Liguid Planet in the heart of downtown Missoula.

The Old World blend is 70% Malbec, 15% Merlot which lend finesse and bouquet, and 15% Tannat which aides its aging potential.  A well balanced wine with solid structure delivers astonishing elegance, with red and black fruit with spicy overtones.  Clos La Coutale offers a beautiful fruity aroma, with crisp notes of red plum, blackberry, subtle smoky nuance, a fleeting suggestion of black truffle with a hint of dark chocolate on the finish.  This wine accompanies duck, red meat and tasty cheeses perfectly.

Argentina is the largest wine-producing country of South American and the fifth largest producing country in the world. 

The Jesuit missionaries began making wine in the mid-fifteen century in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The Uco Valley (pronounced ooko) of Mendoza produces mainly Malbec, Tempranillo, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Argentina is widely recognized throughout the world for their outstanding Malbec wines.

The grapes in this Mendoza region are planted at high altitude near the base of the Andes Mountains.  With hot days, cool nights, and breezes from the mountains producing beautiful fruit that is concentrated and naturally acidic.  The result is excellent wine that is balanced and well structured.

When you read the label on the bottle of Argentinean Wine the grape that is listed is 100% of that varietal.  The Malbec wines from this region offer tremendous single varietal focus and in the hands of a great winemaker will leave you with a memorable finish on your palate and in your mind.

The 2010 Salentine “Killka” Malbec from Mendoza offers tremendous value.  This wine is flamboyant, fruit forward, spicy and perfectly tannic.  In your glass the wine has a deep purple hue with darker streaks of purple when held up to the light.  Dark plum and blackberry with a bit of sweet vanilla meet the nose.  This wine has great fruit, balance, and structure with silky tannin.  The Killka has not been overly manipulated in the winemaking process, one of its best qualities.  This wine is available for under $15.00.  Enjoy this wine with Rib Eye or Filet Mignon and a red wine reduction or green peppercorn sauce.

These two wines receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval®

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

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3 thoughts on “Old or New I have “Two Great Red Wines For You” this week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©

  1. OK, this is my 3rd try on this question – we shop at Good Food and there are many of your wine suggestions that we cannot find there. Any recommendations as to wine stores in Missoula where we can find your recommended wines.

    • Dear Norton and Sharon,

      Thank you for asking. Let me first disclose to you that Liquid Planet features some of my wine recommendations. With that being said the nice thing about Missoula is our various retailers do indeed feature inventories that vary from one another. Here are a few others to try for a nice wine selection; Worden’s, Patty Creek Market, and Liquid Planet which as I mentioned feature a few of my selections. Happy New Years to you both!

      Cheers,
      WineGuyMike

  2. Pingback: Learning About New World Wine | Gourmet Foods For Folk's who enjoy Food!

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