No sooner did I complain about the number of overly sweet/smooth reds out there, than I come across a pair offering the very opposite. The French and Argentinian reds below delivery the bone dry, slightly austere character of traditional bistro wines. Both share similar clear statements of purpose â€“ as suggesting partnership with red meats. So classic, they need a â€˜no fun for partiesâ€™ warning. Think formal dinner.
Fans of medium-bodied reds should explore Francs Magnus, which comes with beautiful pure flavours, and the refined quality we associate with French fashions. Thereâ€™s an appetizing edge for working the palate, and though itâ€™s somewhat simple, it manages to feel special. A feature of Old World wines.
While most lower-priced Malbecs taste much the same as Cabernet or Merlot, hereâ€™s one running true to the grapeâ€™s personality. As in having the frank, solid hand shake character of the Cahors wines of France. Thereâ€™s not a trace of the sweetness and smoothness offered in the lower-priced editions. Zuccardiâ€™s Euro origins come through here with a wine that would be right at home in a French bistro setting, with grilled red meats.
ZUCCARDI 15 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 723478 Vintages $19.95
CHATEAU FRANCS MAGNUS 16 Bordeaux, France 550269 Vintages $16.95