Argentina’s Malbecs have secured a foothold on America’s wine shelves, including Gascon — as in Don Miguel Gascon — which dates back more than 125 years in that country’s wine history books and pulls no punches when it comes to flavors and tannins. The Gascon Malbecs — a regular and Reserve bottling — are sturdy, well-made wines that satisfy world palates and cry out for rustic roasted meats in the style of Mendoza. The wines are easy to spot in the Argentina section of many independant Metro Detroit wine shops and well-stocked supermarket chains.
The brand: The winery dates to 1884 and still operates at its historic property in the city of Mendoza with a modern, high-tech winery behind the old facade. Descendants of the founding family ran it until 1993, when the renowned Argentina vintner Dr. Nicolas Catena and his family gathered a group of investors to buy the winery and preserve its legacy. Today, Catena’s son Ernesto is president of the winery. Catena is a leading brand on store shelves: Think Bodega Catena Zapata, plus Alamos and Tilia. This year, Nicolas Catena is the recipient of Wine Spectator’s Distinguished Service Award. See the wine.com blog.
Wines (Look for sale prices)
Don Miguel Gascon Malbec Mendoza 2011, $15 : Aromas of blackberries, dark plums, cherries and mocha lead to spicy flavors, supple tannins and a ton of dark fruit blastng the palate. It’s a dark, brooding wine that will paint your mouth purple. It calls for blackened steak, hearty pot roast or bold red pasta sauces.
Don Miguel Gascon Malbec Reserva Mendoza 2010, $25: This beauty is styled much like the regular Malbec except the fruit, tannins and structure have found a new gear. It’s more full-bodied with firm dusty tannins, more concentrated fruit, more alcohol.