Terrazas de los Andes, Reserva Malbec 2011, SRP: $18.99
My go-to wines for grilled meat are often Spanish garnachas and malbecs — this wine, a tasteful and very well-priced malbec reserva from the Mendoza region of Argentina, could quickly become a favorite. The nose is a crush of violets and fruit —poured deep purple into the glass, it opens up with a medley of dark cherry, a bit of prune, with a light pleasant tang of spice and smoke in the finish. Medium-bodied with soft tannins, and weighing in at 14 percent alcohol, it complements the char of grilled meats and is very easy to drink.
Grown at 3,500 feet, aged in a sequence of old and new French and American oak, this well-made wine is very drinkable now and will only improve steadily with age. No surprise, this reserva is the winery’s best seller.
Terrazas de los Andes, Reserva Torrontes 2012, SRP: $14.99
I opened this wine, lightly chilled, at a casual al fresco dinner party, and everyone who tasted it was enchanted with it. It is, to begin, very pretty in the glass: a shining pale gold with a hint of green light. The nose was a pleasant mixture of flower and fruit, although tropical fruit and pear dominated on the palate. It is exceptionally smooth at this price point, with a lovely, soft mouthfeel and a gentle finish, with enough acid to keep you refreshed and sipping happily on a warm summer night. This Torrontes is a fine apéritif wine, but also works very well with light summer food.
Terrazas de los Andes is produced by Chandon Argentina, a grandchild, as it were, of the French Champagne house of Moet & Chandon. A very good value.