Sunday, September 8, 2019

Dona Paula 2005 "Selecction de Bodega" Malbec

The dinner we made was outstanding: Cuban-style pork, slow-cooked with lots of onions, garlic, carrot, celery, tomato, and enough smoked paprika to outfit the Hungarian army for a year. Over our own potatoes smashed wtih our chives and some vegan butter and roasted our garlic. Bueno!

But the (expensive) wine didn't rise to the occcasion:

Here is Robert Parker's 94-point review of it:

"The 2005 Malbec Seleccion de Bodega received 24 months in new French oak. It has a splendid nose of pain grille, pencil lead, plum, black cherry, and earth notes. This is followed by an opulent, rich wine with gobs of flavor, incipient complexity and a 45-second finish. This wine will develop for another 6-8 years with prime drinking from 2015 to 2035."

All I can say is that, in 2019, with the wine 14 years old, is that none of that review is true. It may have been true once, but not tonight.

Be careful, my friends! If you lay down a plethora of wines with high scores, be prepared for the fact that not all of them will age well. You know that I like finding good wines that aren't so expensive. I wish I had a dollar for every time I carefully researched a wine and laid it down, only to find later that it doesn't do it for me.  This one didn't have much fruit, even thought its color suggested it's still young. It had a faint whiff and taste of wet newspaper (probably a little Brett). It just didn't come together. What's wrong with me? I found a similar result in another Walla Walla big red that I opened last week after years of cellaring. 

Could it be that it's better to find good cheaper wines, and drink them within a year? I think so. I think the lure of laying down great wines is not quite all it's cracked up to be. Yes, there are glorious successes. When I turned fifty, we had a party where I opened fifty-year old Lafite and Haut Brion; both were very interesting (though not great), and what was REALLY interesting was how different each of them were, when both were made in 1957 only miles apart. Old wines see the fading of fruit, and tertiary flavors come forward. Did you see Parker's reference to burnt toast and pencil lead? How much do you want to pay for pencil lead and burnt toast in your wine? Just asking. I had a fight once in elementary school, and the other guy jammed his sharp pencil into my hand. The tip broke off in my skin. I asked the teacher, "If it's lead, isn't it poisonous inside me?" and she said we call it lead but it's just carbon. Until a few years ago, you could still see its green spot in my knuckle. Fun memory, but in your wine????

To be fair, Jane liked this wine. I guess the further I go, the pickier I get. That dish was GREAT! And tomorrow, or the next day, the wine will be, too...


(Photo Credit: Cookpad)




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