Mascota Vineyards Gran Mascota Malbec Review, Tasting Notes and Food Pairing IdeasThis is the way Malbec should taste.

The Mascota Vineyards Malbec Gran Reserva (Vintage 2012) will undoubtedly appeal to any Malbec enthusiast. Especially those of you who have a special appreciation for Argentine Malbec’s that pack black fruit, spice and a significantly elevated alcohol content. It has scored a more than modest 91 points with James Suckling, and even higher with other publications. This wine is both affordable and accessible. For around $20, you can buy the Gran Mascota Malbec at Total Wine.

Mascota Vineyards Gran Mascota Malbec Review, Tasting Notes, Food Pairings

The Mascota Vineyards Gran Mascota Malbec has won numerous awards.

Mascota Vineyards Gran Mascota Malbec Review from the Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Sitting within a few hundred yards of the Mendoza River, Malbec vines at Mascota Vineyards inhale consistently cool breezes that come down from the Andes Mountains, as well as from winds that blow through the Uco Valley. This wine is not a single-vineyard production. It’s actually crafted from hand selected grapes from several vineyards that lie 1050 meters above sea level.

The soil composition is clay-dominant, and this style of alluvial soil sits on top of stone and boulders that lay about 2 feet beneath the surface. This not only allows for ideal drainage, but also allows the vines to dig deep and extract unique mineral tones.This style of terroir is some of the finest found in the Mendoza region of Argentina.

Production of the Mascota Gran Mascota is meticulous. Down to berry selection itself, only the highest quality Malbec grapes go into each bottle. It undergoes natural malolactic fermentation for a minimum of 25 days in concrete vats and is then aged for no less than 18 months in French oak barrels.

This Malbec maintains a 15% ABV.

Note that while the 2012 vintage is fantastic, 2011 was marginally better. If you see a bottle, be sure to grab it!

Mascota Gran Mascota Malbec Tasting Notes

In the glass, this wine looks like your classic style of Mendoza Malbec with rich inky black and blue hues. The nose is welcoming, with no shortage of red, black plum and vanilla aromas. The opening palate is even more inviting and powerful. Tannic, full-bodied and delightfully alcoholic, the structure is well balanced with plum, blackberry and cracked peppercorn spice.

Related: What are ‘tannins’ in wine? Learn about astringency and tannins in our guide

The mid-palate remains upbeat with refreshing acid, a velvety viscosity and refined hints of strawberry vanilla cola. Towards the close, we taste an abundance of ripe blackberry, blueberry, crushed violet and damp forest floor. The finish is lengthy with some resounding notes of black cherry.

How to Serve the Gran Mascota Malbec

This Malbec is ready to be consumed immediately, or it can be aged for another 5 years. Serve at 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius), or about 20 minutes in the fridge. Decantation is recommended for about 10 minutes.

Mascota Vineyards Gran Mascota Malbec Food Pairings

Marinated skirt steak fajitas with green and red bell peppers, onion and spices will pair excessively well with the Mascota Malbec. Image courtesy Fitreadymeals.com.

Gran Mascota Malbec Food Pairings

Meat is your best bet. Think Argentine (or Cuban), lechon asado (roasted pork). Spicy flank steak or peppercorn encrusted filet mignon are equally acceptable pairing options with this Malbec.

Related: Checkout this Lechon Asado con Mojo recipe from Fine Cooking

Mexican food is also ideal here given the spicy nature of this wine. CARNE TAMPIQUEÑA (marinated skirt steak enchilada with cheese, roasted tomato sauce and guacamole) is fantastic. Marinated steak fajitas with green bell pepper, tomato onion and spice accentuate the flavors in this Malbec perfectly. If you’re looking to avoid meats, try a chicken enchilada or burrito in green mole sauce.

Fried avocado with shredded chicken and aged cheddar cheese, or spicy Indian tikka masala will also work beef or pork doesn’t suit your tastes. Long story short – keep it savory with no shortage of spice.

Mascota Malbec Review and Tasting Notes

Image courtesy Mascota Vineyards.

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