I get lots of wine e-newsletters, about half a dozen a week, at least.Â Itâ€™s one of the ways Iâ€™m constantly exposed to new trends in the wine world, and other wine-related things I wouldnâ€™t ordinarily know. If youâ€™re trying to learn more about wine, I highly recommend this practice. What you do is, you spend some time checking out online wine purveyors, then sign up for their newsletters.Â Sure, theyâ€™re trying to sell you something, but the amount of information you get in the process is kind of astounding.Â Thatâ€™s because many of the newsletters contain a wealth of useful information on a particular wine, or wine region, or wine trend, etc., before you even get to the â€śweâ€™re trying to sell you some somethingâ€ť part.
For example, last week the Wine Access e-newsletter was all about Malbec, also know as â€śthe hottest category in the marketplace.â€ťÂ What I learned that I didnâ€™t know:
Â· Argentine Malbec is the hottest category in the marketplace. (just said that, didnâ€™t I?)
Â· Because of this, lots of Argentinian Malbec is â€śjust along for the ride,â€ť according to the Wine Access newsletter. Meaning, out of 100 Malbecs the WA folk tasted, only about a dozen are truly good.Â The rest are riding the coattails of the Malbec trend.
Â· The secret behind the top wines of Mendoza is that the vines used are â€śold, often ancient. The sandy loam soil is light, imparting a certain vibrancy to the wine.â€ťÂ These vines produce less than 2 tons per acre, and that old vine fruit is pretty stunning stuff.
Â· Then there are the imitators, which the WA folks divide into two categories:Â traditional and sloppy, and new wave and cynical. The traditional and sloppy are producing wine from old vine fruit, but the wines have off-aromas, some are prematurely oxidized, and others have â€śaromatics that arenâ€™t clean.â€ťÂ (Iâ€™m not going to lie, I donâ€™t even know what â€śunclean aromaticsâ€ť are. If anyone wants to enlighten me, please feel free!)
Â· The new wave and cynical, on the other hand, are producing wine with â€śbright, fruity noses, but the mid-palate belies the aromatics. While your nose tells you one thing, your tongue senses another, and as you wait for the wine to fill out — poof — it does an about-face, leaving you with a subdued nose, thin flavors and a simple, acidic finish.â€ť
Well, OK then, the wine industry/agribusiness is cashing in on a market trend, and consumers are along for the party.Â So I guess pay careful attention to your local wine purveyors advice and input when buying your Malbec.
I donâ€™t drink tons of Malbec, but of what I have had, Susana Balbo is my favorite producer.Â
If you want to read the Wine Access article about Malbec in itâ€™s entirety, check it out here.