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elena malbecYou wouldn’t know it from the label, which refers lovingly to the “home at the foot of the Andes” , but this wine is from E.J. Gallo.

The nose and palate are intense for a cheap wine, black cherry and generic berry aromas and raisins dominate but are slightly stewed, a whiff of alcohol and green vegetal notes mar the nose but it is pleasant enough. Some subtle woodiness suggests oak chips deftly applied.

The palate flavors turn darker but still have the stewed character. This is a medium body wine with just enough acidity to support the fruit so the wine remains refreshing. Chocolate shows on the medium length finish with very soft tannins.

I didn’t enjoy the stewed aromas but the intensity and full flavor make this a good bargain, especially if you’re serving steak.

Score: 83

Alcohol: 13.5%

Price: Average price is $8 but I often see it for $6