I have a new requirement in my wine, red in particular, it must taste like a musty basement. I'm sure there is a proper term for this, so please, share if you know! It's actually very ironic that I now associate this taste with good wine because I have a vivid memory from when I was 22 years old. I had just started to drink wine, I had graduated from keg parties in college and my palate was becoming slightly more refined, basically I was drinking Chardonnay and Zinfandel. I opened a bottle of wine that my Dad had received as a gift, it was red, I spit it out after taking a sip and remember saying "This is bad, it tastes like a musty basement, it's spoiled!" What I didn't say out loud just to myself was, "I bet this is what good wine is supposed to taste like, and I bet I'll get it when I'm older."
Well, I FINALLY get it! Last week my friend Erin and I went to a wine bar by my place called Volo. I tried a Malbec from Argentina, since that region is known for their Malbecs. It was good, but then, I tried a French Malbec and it was AMAZING. Erin and I both said, it tastes like a basement. When I looked up the wine the next day, one of the reviews said it was reminiscent of grandma's basement! My palate was right on!
This week I picked up two different Malbecs. One was French and good but the other was from Argentina and jackpot, basement again! I've learned that Malbecs from 2005/06 are so, so tasty. Must have been a good year for the grapes!! Below is a review for one of my new, favorite, basement wines!
Cueva De Las Manos | Malbec | Argentina | 2006
Deep red/purple color, expressive notes of ripe cherries, plums, violets and chocolate. Full bodied with chewy black fruit and spicy oak. Good balance and finish.