Vintage Wine Tasters Judge Malbec Wines


Written by:

Joe Becerra

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The Vintage Wine Tasters met this past Wednesday for their bi-monthly meeting to taste and judge six Malbec wines priced around the $20 range or below. Our host was Vintage club member Jerry who did an extraordinary job researching and selecting six different Malbec wines. Jerry threw us a bit of a curve ball by including one California Malbec and one from Cahors, France, among four Argentine wines. As per usual, the wines were bagged and scored using a unique 25-point scoring system.

The results of our Malbec Taste Off

1. Stryker-Sonoma, 2006 Alexander Valley Malbec, $21.60 at the winery
2. Michael Torino, 2008 Reserve Malbec, Cafayate, $14.99 — Weimax Wines
3. Don Miquel Gascon, 2009 Malbec, $10.99 — Trader Joe’s
4. Bodega Norton, 2006 Reserve Malbec, $12.89 — Costco
5. Tapiz 2008 Malbec, $11.99 — BevMo
6. Clos La Coutale 2007, $14.99 — Weimax Wines

The scoring was very close with a small point spread among the top five wines. The wine from Cahors was just about last on everyone’s list. It was rather surprising that the Malbec from the Cafayete region Michael Torino scored higher than the three from the Mendoza region of Argentina where Malbec is king. Cafayate is most famous for the fragrant white wine, Torrontes.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa Valley is Next

We are already gearing up for our next tasting. This is our once-a-year highlight tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon. We splurge on this tasting digging into our reserve pot to finance the tasting. We will be tasting the 2007 vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. We will be looking at wines above the $40 category and more than our usual flight of six wines. The tasting is scheduled for mid October.

I know this will immediately bring the attention of many Napa Valley wineries, knowing the results of our judging are very likely to make or break a winery! We will gladly accept samples, of course, from any Napa Valley winery that is seeking to be part of this tasting. Please contact for more information about this prestigious annual wine tasting event.

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.