By now most everyone must have heard of Argentinean malbec. The Argentines themselves are very well aware of their gold medal potential. That leads us to Achaval Ferrer, a passionate group of Argentines and Italians who are pushing the malbec boundaries. Their high-end stuff is undeniably delicious, but at $70 to $100 a pop it's not for every day. The real deal, however, is the current 2011 Mendoza Malbec. Purple colored and dark, it carries lots of nuance: black fruit, herb, leaf, tobacco and silky tannins. It's quite the charmer, with its plump little palate and non-fruit complexities. Serve with hearty fare. Costs about $28.
-- Mike McVittie reviews wines available locally