A nice little Malbec while you are brewing fake Corona
A nice little Malbec while you are brewing fake Corona

Ruta 22 Malbec 2011

I t took most of the day. Once again the laundry room had gotten out of control. My bike shoes were mingling with the Christmas linens that I moved off the washing machine after a 4 month nap. We had company over 2 months ago and they had to go somewhere.
I was trying to make room for 2 new oak vinegar barrels I’m ordering (we are starting to make vinegar with old wine we’ve collected from friends). Plus it doesn’t hurt to make the place look a bit neater. I cleaned up the laundryroom this last fall and the result was opening space up the winemaking kit I got the previous Christmas and the Mr. Beer kit I got 2 Christmas’s before.

I found myself having to speed the process up when a nasty thunderstorm hit and I had all this crap scattered on the back deck. Some of it came back in a bit damp.

The vinegar barrels aren’t here yet so I was inspired to break open one of the 2 new beer refill kits I got for Christmas. This one is a Corona knockoff called “Aztec.”

It has to sit in the brown plastic brewing keg for 2 weeks. Luckily it took all day because it late in the day I noticed that direct sunlight was falling where I had planned to set it up. I didn’t have this problem in the Fall. I moved it down.

So, no beer for 2 weeks. I need a glass of something. About that time Mrs. Dan showed up from her Sunday shopping. She was looking out for my Cheap Bastard roots and proudly showed me a bottle of Ruta 22 Malbec. I’ve this wine a couple of times at wine tasting. This time she found it for $9.99 which is $3 off at Publix.

As I sat back and admired the job I did with the brew and laundry room I thought it would be nice to have a glass of wine. Mrs. Dan to the rescue.

This is a nice full bodied wine. Nice dark fruit but it is on the dry side. I’m having trouble determining if it is from the tannins or from a bit of minerality. Face it, growing grapes in Patagonia is a bit challenging. When you say Malbec you always think of Argentina. But to grow them in Patagonia you usually are talking about cool, dry and high altitude. That can make for some interesting grapes. I would agree with the label and say it’s got some blackberry flavors and vanilla aromas. Interestingly enough this wine starts dry and those blackberry fruit flavors show up at the finish. I bet with growing grapes in Patagonia this wine can change from year to year. Tasting notes I gathered on earlier vintages mention blueberries rather than blackberries.

For $9.99, not bad. We had it with some slow-cooker chicken chili “stuff” that Mrs. Dan made. I enjoyed this wine by itself and with dinner.

Totalwines.com describes it as “a dark ruby red color. On the nose, it has a dark fruit orientation, (blackberries and cranberries) with a smoky character. Smooth and round in the mouth with firm but approachable tannins.” Not sure on the cranberry unless that’s the dryness I’m tasting at the start.

Looks like someone at Ruta22 forgot to renew their domain name because someone scarfed it up and is sitting on it.

What a productive day. Got my beer started and found a nice little wine for under $10.
From: Patagonia, Argentina
Winery: Ruta 22
Year: 2011

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