|Malbec Vintage 2011|
When a wine bears the name Cigar Box, it seems silly not to review it. Following up on that; when a wine is made from Malbec grapes, it seems even more sill not to drink/review it. I have been enjoying Cigar Box wine since it was released, available, and it seems fitting that I finally get around to reviewing it. The companies currently has three varieties; Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Malbec, but I am going to be focusing on the one I drink most often. I find it very entertaining when I am about to smoke some cigars with friends and bring a bottle of this and have them look at the name of the wine. Malbec is a personal favorite of mine, and that is because of the strength and flavor profile it possesses as a wine. They really possess tons of flavors, and have never found them to be a poor pair with any cigar I have paired it with. I will say that when I am pairing the two I typically gravitate towards a richer and stronger cigar, but that is neither here nor there. The grapes for this Malbec are from Argentina, and come from the Luján de Cuyo region of Mendoza. Mendoza is known as being Malbec capital of the world, but I have had some Malbecs from France that have been different but just as enjoying. As said in the title, the grapes are all from 2011, so it is a fairly young wine.
There is a lovely color to the wine which is a blend of maroon and burgundy, and it produces bold but few legs in the glass when swirled. The wine itself has a lovely and powerful aroma, and it shows some dark stone fruit, mostly plums, with bits of vanilla, cedar, spices and floral notes. To taste the wine begins smooth and silky, but has a definite Malbec finish. There are definitely some berry notes present with the plum flavors, and I am getting some noticeable wood, vanilla and spice notes on my palate. The wine definitely has some depth and strength to it, and could overpower some other partners. I would say it is around medium full/full, and great as an evening wine.
I would definitely pair this wine with any variety of red meat, and would be perfect in the Fall, Winter and early Spring. I am enjoying this wine right now as a late evening wine, and am not enjoying this when it is triple digits outside. This wine would really overpower some cigars, and would need to be paired with a cigar that has some strength and powerful flavors to it. I think it would go great with any solid Maduro; I am thinking E.P. Carrillo Core Line Maduro, Tatuaje Fausto, Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2012, and Liga Privada No. 9. Other than that, I would pair it with some strong Habano wrapper cigars like the Miami Reserva, Room 101 O.S.O.K., and other cigars along that line. Don’t even bother pairing this with a Connecticut Shade or any other milder cigar. I give this wine an 88, and while it is not the best Malbec I have had, it is definitely an entertaining one that I enjoy.