Cakey Wine, what could be better?

Layer Cake Malbec wine, that is…  This is supposed to be a wine blog, after all.  My most sincere apologies for not updating in many a moon.  I’ve been traveling- I have a Sauvignon to blog about, a bottle of Sake and a few others up my sleeve before my BIG TRIP to Italy, which I’ll also be posting about.  Early and often, I hope.  In any event, I’m going to start with my review of the Layer Cake 2008 Malbec, which I sincerely enjoyed!

I actually wanted to make a date night out of this wine- and pair it with a movie viewing of “Layer Cake” wherein “a successful cocaine dealer gets two tough assignments from his boss on the eve of his planned early retirement.”

Intended date night flick

How could that not be fantastic with a bold spicy wine, right?!  I love a good cocaine flick!  In any event, that date-night didn’t so much happen so I enjoyed the bottle on its own merits.

The beginning, middle and end of this wine were fantastic.  The flavor is rich, it lasts throughout the taste and it ends with a big taste.  At first, that’s a really bold finish (too bold?)– but if you let the bottle breathe a bit (yes, have restraint!), it finishes incredibly well.  Here are the basics:

  • 100% Mendoza, Argentina
  • 100% Malbec
  • 80% stainless steel fermented; 20% in used Hundred Acre barrels exported to Argentina.
  • Alc. 13.9%
  • Bottled January 2008

So, as you (maybe) can tell, this is NOT the fermentation style I think of wine.  Where is the wood!?  (that’s what she said).   Most of the wines I’ve tried anyway, are primarily aged in oak barrels rather than steel.  Wood allows for an exchange between the oxygen outside and the wine inside the cask or barrel, which winemakers use to to round the tannin (bitter) taste and astringency.  Wood can also be into many sizes, but it’s also expensive, perishable and requires more labor to clean and maintain.   However, stainless steel provides MANY advantages, which, in all fairness-  I had to look up.  As it turns out stainless steel fermentation is quite popular for the following reasons:

Stainless steel:

  • is chemically neutral, stainless steel neither adds nor takes away flavors in wine.
  • is easily fitted with temperature controls, including jackets through which refrigerant can be pumped, thermostats, internal stirring components and computerized controls that can maintain the temperature of the must within one or two degrees.
  • does not provide a medium for bacterial growth and can be easily cleaned and sterilized to avoid contamination.
  • provides both more durability and more portability than the other materials.

Stainless steel fermentation specifically does NOT add flavor to the grapes it’s helping to ferment.  I think that works well for a flavorful grape such as the Malbec, but it would be much harder with a more bland chardonnay grape, for example, which is boosted by the oak.  God I’m so prejudiced.  If you have a decent chardonnay, I’ll try it, just for you. Otherwise, I’m not convinced there’s a good bottle out there…

What was this post about again?  Movies, that’s right.  No wait…

LAYER CAKE Malbec 2008.  Was delicious!  This is the best (succinct) description I could create:
Color: Dark and foreboding. (I mean… red, purplish, good and opaque)
Aromas: Blueberry, blackberry, cherry with a little hint of seediness- think rich leather but in a tasty way; slightly sweet.
Flavors: Rich fruit that is grounded with a little bit of chocolate, coffee, and a peppercorn spice?
Texture: Strong taste of tannins, but they really keep the whole fruit, leather, chocolate, pepper taste in line. I know it sounds like it would be a scattered taste, but I think the way that the tannins come out makes the taste all fall in line so that by the end of the taste you have a sweet lingering of sweet spice, but earthy texture.

I would call the wine deep bodied, lots of texture and taste and could easily suit a hearty meal. I would have this with a tasty, full flavored cheese, or even with a good meat dish- like lamb, rabbit or beef and it would absolutely hold its own. It might be overwhelming on its own, but I would never say that honestly. There has never been a wine I couldn’t handle on its own… sheesh. But, then again, based on past personal performances, maybe food is a good suggestion.

Get some! At $16 it’s a little pricey but it’s good value- a delicious, solid, fun wine!

Julia Uncorked says: 88/100 – yes pricey, but I can’t imagine a time I wouldn’t want to drink this!

6 Responses to “Cake!”

  1. It is good that the end of the wine was good because the end of that movie BLOWS

  2. SaintStephen2 Says:

    I absolutely love Malbec. While they’re intense, I rarely find them overpowering, so this one must have been very powerful.

    Also, I agree with Ben: end of that movie pissed me off. But Sienna Miller… ZOMG.

  3. haha ben 🙂

  4. You’re off to Italy??? Love the blog BTW. 🙂

    The Malbec is great, but have you ever had the primitivo? Effing awesome. Glad you had a good bday and a good Cape race. Ptown was PACKED due to all those racers.

  6. p.s. if you’re ever down here again, you should stop by the Truro Vineyards (where I work) it appears you would like it ; )

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