So I just got done telling you in a previous post what a great value Argentinian Malbecs are, and that you should check them out. While that is still a true statement, I must admit I was a little disappointed with the 2005 Cruz Alta Malbec. However, I think my disappointment was mainly due to the very high expectations I had for this bottle before ever cracking it open.
We had opened up a 2005 Cruz Alta Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($12 at Total Wine) a couple weeks ago, and were very impressed. The reserve cab was full-bodied, big and beautiful! It had pretty hefty tannins, but was well-balanced with some lighter berry fruit and some intriguing spice to it. Kris and I both loved this wine, and I strongly recommend it. This is why I was so excited to try one of Cruz Alta's Malbecs, since if they could do Cabs so well I wanted to see what they could do with Argentina's specialty - Malbec.
The 2005 Cruz Alta Malbec was purchased for $10 at Total Wine in McLean, VA. It had a nose of dark raspberries and plum. On the tongue, the dark fruit held up, and there was a nice earthiness to it, but there was also some unpleasant bitterness. We had brought this wine over to the home of our friends, so were without our decanter. The decanter may have helped with the bitterness, as the wine simply tasted too "tight" and we've found that a decanter can often alleviate this.
I feel that I've been a little harsh with this wine - we drank the bottle and enjoyed it, but I was just expecting more and was thus overly critical. However, my overall recommendation is still to skip this particular Argentine Malbec. There are definitely better wines out there for $10, and I'd rather see you spend your wine time and money seeking out a more satisfying Malbec. Definitely check out the Cruz Alta Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon though - it's excellent!