Monday, January 17, 2011

2009 Renacer "Punto Final" Malbec

The 2009 Bodega Renacer Punto Final Malbec, Argentina is a seriously delicious sub-$15 bottle of wine and quite a step up in quality from their 2008 effort. Although I enjoyed the 2008 version for what it was, I always felt it was something of a simple, tooty-fruity version of Malbec; best suited for hamburgers or other simple fare. Not so with the 2009. The current vintage has a deeper, more captivating nose and palate of blackberry, black pepper, licorice and Provencal herb. Quite full-bodied for a wine of this price range with wonderful, balanced tannins and acidity. Stands up quite well to grilled flank steak with an assertive Charmoula sauce. About $12.

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 large garlic cloves
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil (appx.)

Process until blended into a coarse paste.

I'm not sure where I got this recipe, but I've been using it for years. It originally called for a small amount of mint leaves and cilantro but I've since modified it to eliminate the mint and beef up the cilantro. The original recipe resulted in a paste similar in texture to pesto. I like adding enough olive oil so you can freely drizzle it over grilled beef, chicken or lamb.

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