Maker: Chateau Chantal, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Region: Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
Appearance: Dark inky purple with long quick gams. Throws some intense amounts of sediment around.
Nose: Woody, intense, grapey. Almost like a Port or a Gran Reserva Rioja.
On the palate: Medium-bodied, intense and grapey. Mildly tannic, coats the mouth. A powerful wine that stands up to rich food very well, but you don’t feel like you’re being punched in the face or about to fall off your chair either.
Finish: Fruity, like Concord grape jelly, but without the foxiness. The sediment coats the mouth and lingers for a long time.
Parting words: This is not a terribly complex wine, but it’s very good. Argentina’s Mendoza region is firing on all cylinders right now and Malbec, an old Bordeaux variety, is its flagship grape. Chateau Chantal owns a vineyard in Argentina and imports its wine to sell here. High-end Malbec can age for 10-15 years but most lower-end and middle-range ones are just fine after 2-4 years in the bottle, like this one. Michigan is not known for Bordeaux-varietal reds, but Chateau Chantal has found a great way to offer an excellent one to its customers. Recommended.