2011 Greg Norman Malbec

Mendoza, Argentina; 13.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 14 July

GregNorman_2011_MalbecOf the new wines that showed up after a dearth of such, this wine looked interesting but was in my second round.  It’s a bit different than the Argentinian Malbecs I’ve had previously, and at first I wasn’t totally sure I liked it.

In contrast to my usual decanting, I just slowly had small pours out of this bottle over time.  The wine started out a bit sulfurous, and I thought it needed about an hour of air.  Then, it tasted of light purple plum, blueberry, boysenberry, and something floral similar to those fruits, with plenty of wood throughout and a quite woody finish.  If you couldn’t tell, I really wish they had used less wood, because the fruit is otherwise nicely balanced and elegant.  Perhaps they were just trying to make a wine to contrast from the generally fruity nature of South American wines.

Also, instead of my usual fussing over storing the rest of a bottle, last night I just put the cork back in the top of the half-emptied (or half-full) bottle.  Today, I like the wine much better.  The fruit is more forward, showing the same ripe fruits over the wood, and with more complexities of dark cocoa, coffee, and clove.  The finish is still a bit woody for my taste, but overall it’s now quite tasty and I have to give it a Thumbs Up.  It’s a nice example of an Argentinian Malbec that’s a bit more restrained and structured than the other ones I’ve tasted.  Bin5 reviewed the previous vintage of this wine here.


6 thoughts on “2011 Greg Norman Malbec

  1. EHL

    What a buy for $5!

    Big and aromatic on the nose with an early hit of spicy black currant and black cherry…….complemented by a thin oaky veil of leather, sandy soil, a hint of sea air and some dark, tarry fruits…..topped off with an odd accent of green banana.

    Round and plump on entry with bright acids quickly helping to sort this out……this then turns slightly angular in the mouth with attractive open and clear fruit that has a very subtle bitter shading. There’s nice acidity here keeping this fresh in the mouth…..and late arriving dried herb and violet accents add mysterious complexity.

    There’s not much of a finish but this remains clean and fresh in the mouth. Eminently drinkable and not facile or sweet. This is a great value on a little wine that punches above it’s weight class.

    Truly an epiphany!

    Read more: http://www.snooth.com/articles/5-cheap-red-blends/?viewall=1#ixzz390qd0iH2

  2. flitcraft

    Saw the 2012 at my local supermarket on sale for 11 bucks. Completely different label, though, which may explain why the 2011 landed at GO.

  3. PW

    We had this a couple of weeks ago. Similarly didn’t love it on the first day…it was fine on it’s own but really needed the meal (home made mac & sharp cheese) to balance it’s weak points and bring it’s flavors out. Really liked it on day two. And your description (cocoa, coffee and clove) was very much what we found, along with a bit of vanilla. I liked the long finish.

    I don’t think I’ll buy it again though. Kirkland currently has my fav. Malbec for $7 and it is good from first pour as well as day two, but if I didn’t have that easily accessible, I probably would have bought this again.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi PW. Thanks for the concurring opinion. For the possible benefit of other readers, would you name your favorite Malbec, whether it’s at the GO or not?

      1. PW

        Kirkland Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2012. That malbec is wonderful (killer price too). I’ve run into several people (on subsequent visits) who were buying cases and mention how they buy it every vintage and this is their favorite so far. I didn’t mention it before because it isn’t GO. It’s not really my favorite summer beverage but I bought a case for fall/winter.


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