2006 Eagle Eye Limited Edition Malbec, Napa Valley, CA; 14.7% ABV
$9.99 @ Salem OR Sept. 27, 2014
Produced and Bottled by Alphawolf Ranch, LLC
This is my first Napa Malbec. Normally, I purchase Argentinian (Mendoza region) Malbec and I’m a big fan, so I wanted to see how this would differ. And actually, it does differ in a few ways.
Firstly, this Eagle Eye is very, very smooth. I was impressed with the mouthfeel. It didn’t taste as heavy to me as the Malbec I’m accustomed to purchasing. Nor as spicy. The color is a rich burgundy/plum, which is also slightly different in comparison. Normally I find Malbec to be dark plum or purple. I’m guessing that the burgundy tint is due to the age of the wine. Not just because of the color, but also because there was a very slightly oxidation to the taste. Not extreme, but worth noting.
I ran it through the Nuance wine finer just in case there was sediment, otherwise, no decanting.
Both my husband and I liked the wine but we did not feel that it was extremely special and we expected special from a “Limited Edition” Napa wine. While there was quite a bit of alcohol heat, which isn’t surprising at 14.7%, it wasn’t out of balance. In fact I think it helped to balance the very fruitiness of the wine. There was noticeable plum and blackberry with a hint of tea in the taste. The winemaker’s description included smoke & leather but we didn’t taste that at all. I believe we could have easily identified this as a Napa wine. It’s quite fruit forward, lush, warm & rich. After about an hour from pouring, the spices showed a bit more as well as some red fruit however they were a bit overshadowed by the alcohol heat. Overall, we liked it enough that it didn’t make it to day two and that probably is a good thing. JWC remarked that one of the “wine guys” he spoke to, mentioned that it was showing its age. I agree. And yet, it is very drinkable right now. I personally would not cellar it.
As to whether or not I think $9.99 is a good QPR for this wine…personally I think it’s a bit high but maybe not for a Napa product. Half the time, when you buy a wine from a prominent location like Napa, you are paying for the location on top of the wine itself. It is still currently for sale from the winery for $35. By comparison, $9.99 is very good.
I give it a thumbs up (limited) because it’s drinkable now but I wouldn’t cellar it.