Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: *** $ Crane Lake Malbec, California, 2009 (BEST VALUE)

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By way of background, opening thoughts:  In the category of "take one for the team", I just tried an under-$5 pinot noir and, remarkably, found it quite engaging.  It was from Crane Lake with a generic "California" designation.  So, here I am, back again to try another "practically free" Crane Lake offering.

Original tasting and review : This is Crane Lake Malbec, California, 2009, finished at 12.5% alcohol, exactly the same as the pinot noir, and considerably lower than most California wines from these varietals.

In the glass:  Crane Lake Malbec is deep burgundy/red. 

On the nose: Poured at warm room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bold, sweet muddled red beets.  From the aroma, seems like this will be juicy, fruity and bright.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a sweet and rich middle of ripe blackberries.  But some light acids do follow along to accentuate the juiciness, making for a pleasant sip.  The finish is rapid, but clean with residue more of crisp acid than any tannins. 

In summary: Overall, this simple red does rate stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale due to its absorbing and friendly nature.  Sometimes, complexity is to be cherished.  At other times, simplicity is its own reward; especially when as friendly as this.  Best value.  Following long decant, three hours kept at room temperature in partially-filled bottle:  Sweet and clean red berries on the nose.  Still sweet, rich, ripe and juicy.  Held up well.

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