Posts Tagged ‘Malbec’

Discovering Greatness: La Puerta Malbec

In Drinking, Malbec on April 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Michel Rolland, stomach the famous winemaker whose resume includes stints at Harlan, here Ausone, and Ornellaia, once noted that “over 90% of the world’s great wines remain to be discovered.” 

Perhaps self-serving as a comment – Mr. Rolland now makes wine on six continents and in over 12 countries – he also revealed something magical about the modern wine world.  New regions around the globe are constantly being explored and planted, often with stunning results.  And a willingness to explore beyond the common Merlot is now greatly rewarded – both in terms of flavor and dollars spent. 

A perfect example of this is Argentinian Malbec.

Malbec hails from Cahors, France.  In Cahors, Malbec is a wine of pungent aromatic intensity, smelling like a sun-drenched, sweaty horse and known as “the black wine”.  But in Argentina, Malbec undergoes a magical change.  And you can taste the magic in La Puerta Malbec.  

Developing fruit character is the key to farming Malbec, and to this end La Puerta winery looked not to Mendoza, the typical – and more expensive – area for growing Argentinian Malbec, but to Famatina, further north.  There, planting on rows parallel to the rising sun, the grapes are drenched in warmth.  And you can taste it: La Puerta Malbec offers layer upon layer of fruit flavors starting with ripe black cherries but then developing into kirsch, black currants and sultana raisins.  The finish lingers with these flavors, adding a hint of chocolate from the winery’s deft use of older oak barrels.   

Refining their Malbec further, La Puerta planted at the highest elevations they could, nearly 4,000 feet.  This develops a freshness to their Malbec, bringing an intensity unmatched in the region.  The aroma of the wine is lifted up, expounding the welcoming smell of freshly baked blueberry cobbler.  The palate is vibrant, encouraging all to drink deeply and share in its refreshment.

Yes, the Famatina Valley and La Puerta Malbec are relatively unknown.  But, if we listen to Mr. Rolland’s esteemed advice, we may be discovering one fraction of the 90% of new, great wines.    

2010 La Puerta Malbec                       

Suggested List Price:  $10.99

Special price via this email:  $7.99

And no Argentinian Malbec is complete without steak!

Dry Cured Flank Steak with Chimmichurri:

We will taste this wine Friday and Saturday.

All orders must be secured with a name, credit card number, and phone number.  All orders will be available at the time of purchase.  Half case (5%) and full case discounts (10%) do apply to this special offer.

When the wine is ordered your credit card will be charged.  The wine will be held in climate controlled conditions until you are ready to pick it up, free of charge.  Offer is good while supplies last. 

Tim Hansen and Les Huisman shared the editing desk across this prodigious piece!

It’s Never Too Early to Grill in Wisconsin, or Dry Cured Flank Steak with Chimmichurri

In Eating, Steak on April 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

It’s time to fire up the grill.

Sure, there it’s 30 degrees outside and Milwaukee just saw a hailstorm of epic proportions.  But that shouldn’t stop you from grilling.  So get your bottle of Malbec, and grab a glass, here and fire up the grill! 

Chimmichurri, in this version at least, is a piquant green sauce.  It marries to Malbec by harmonizing its bright, green pungency with Malbec’s deep, low-toned, richness.  The dry cure on the meat adds a note of sweetness and in combination the whole thing is irresistible.

Wine pairing

Malbec, Malbec, Malbec!  What a perfect pairing for Malbec!  So perfect it often makes me wonder which developed first – the wine or the sauce? 


1                                              Flank steak, whole; or skirt steak, whole

2 tsp.                                       sugar

2 tsp.                                       cumin

2 tsp.                                       coriander

1 tsp.                                       salt

1 tsp.                                       black pepper

1 clove                                     garlic

2 cups                                      cilantro

2 cups                                      flat leaf parsley

¼ cup                                      white vinegar

¼ cup                                      olive oil

¼ tsp.                                      cayenne pepper

To taste                                   salt


1.  Combine the sugar, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper.  Rub over the steak.  Cure for as little as 30 minutes or as long as 3 days.  Refrigerate if curing for extended periods of time.

2.  Combine all the other ingredients in a high powered blender and puree until smooth.  If you have a lightweight blender start with the olive oil and vinegar and add ingredients one at a time.  If you are still having trouble add a little water to the blender.  Sauce should be very piquant. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.  

3.  Light up the grill and cook the meat to desired doneness. 

4.  With flank steak I always like slicing it for guests.  So let the meat rest for 10 minutes, slice very thinly, and then spread onto a serving platter.  Place a thick line of chimmichurri down the middle of the cut steak, serving the rest of the sauce on the side. 


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