As the crisp, cool fall weather takes over from the scorching heat of summer, my desire for Big Reds wakes up from its temporary slumber.  As readers of The Wine Bargain Sleuth know, I am always on the lookout for new Value Wines that drink like much higher priced bottles, leaving a favorable lasting impression of quality.  Last night while celebrating a birthday with good friends, I came across just such a gem: the Fabre Montmayou Malbec Gran Reserva Mendoza 2013.  This Argentinian Big Red is just coming into its own, but is definitely drinkable with perhaps 15-30 minutes of breathing to allow it to open up.  Clever wine sleuths know that wines that are released from the Southern Hemisphere are actually a growing season ahead, making a 2013 release from, for example, Argentina the functional equivalent of a 2012 release from the USA.  The initial flavor profile of this Fabre Montmayou Gran Reserva is of fresh dark fruit, pepper and spice, with a lovely earthiness on the mid-palate, followed by a lengthy finish of chocolate and licorice hints.  While the Fabre Montmayou Malbec Gran Reserva 2013 would be an amazing pairing with a charcoal-grilled ribeye steak, it was also silky and elegant enough to be served, as it was to our birthday party, with chocolate truffles and apple pie.  While Fabre Montmayou placed a suggested retail of $22 on their pride and joy wine, clever sleuthing will yield this beauty for $18 or so, making it the very essence of a Value Wine.  Quality and expert ratings, you asked?  How does a 92 from Wine Enthusiast and a 90 from Wine Advocate strike you at any price, much less this price point?  Compare this value to a fair-to-midling Napa Cab if you are craving a great Big Red.  Advantage, Fabre Montmayou Malbec Gran Reserva 2013!  Cheers!

 

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