Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: ***+ $ Santa Rita Reserva Malbec, Valle de Colchagua, Chile, 2009 - BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Santa Rita Reserva Malbec.

By way of background, opening thoughts: The designations "reserve" or "reserva" have little authoritative meanings in wine.  If a "reserve" bottling is available alongside a bottling from the same vintner, grape and year that is not label "reserve", then indeed it is likely a more limited selection of grapes.  But when a "reserva", like this one, is unaccompanied by a non-reserve bottling, and is value-priced, you can be pretty sure it is the baseline varietal wine for that winery.

Original tasting and review , December, 2011: This is Santa Rita Reserva Malbec, Valle de Colchagua, Chile, 2009, finished at 13.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Santa Rita Reserva Malbec is dark maroon, opaque from about a half inch in from the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows purple-y and oily, well-oaked fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bold yet tangy on the palate.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact purple and rosy aromatic fruit, sitting clean and fresh in your mid-palate, yielding almost lollipop secondary flavors of cherry.  It rides your cheeks to a perky finish. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for the variegated flavors.  Best value, given the attractive price point.

Following long decant, three full days kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Redder on the nose, but still wet, oily and youthful.  Better integration of the friendly red berries on the palate now.  Consistent rating. 

Updated review, over a year later, April, 2013:  Very consistent color and aromatics.  On the palate, less lollipop elements than originally experienced, but all of the purple oily, rosy aromatic elements remain.  Soft, yet bold and perky.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Santa Rita Reserva Malbec.

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