Value Wine of the Week – 12/29/2014

Price:  $13.99

Wine:  Layer Cake, Malbec

Vintage:  2012

Appellation:  Mendoza (Argentina)

Layer Cake is a well established value brand created by winemaker Jayson Woodbridge, famous for his Hundred Acre Cabernet ($200/bottle and up) and also known for his “Cherry Pie” pinot noir, which we are also fans of here on the Couch.  Layer Cake is a project with a stated goal of making value wines in bulk that overdeliver on price, from a wide variety of global wine regions.  These wines can be found at just about any wine shop, and typically do offer good bang for the buck

For a long time Malbec was mostly known as one of the 5 red wine grapes of Bordeaux, only slightly more memorable than the one we always forget, petit verdot.  When the South American wine scene exploded with an influx of cash from the global wine business, Malbec was found to do well down there and production exploded.  Malbec emerged as a great value wine.

Malbec wines can be a little rough on the palate.  They are not for the faint of tongue.  I’ve never been a huge fan, but I stumbled across the Malbec section at a local shop, looked at the low prices and thought I should give them another chance.  After sampling a few different labels, Layer Cake emerged as my favorite of the batch.

Lots of folks complain about over extraction in low cost Malbecs.  This can cause a Malbec to be grating and harsh, and indeed one of the other labels I tried was showing this.  The Layer Cake demonstrated a better balance, and was quite smooth for a Malbec, without giving up substance or flavor.  A nice amount of fruit up front layered on to firm, oak tannins in the back.  They use 40% new french oak on this wine and it comes off pretty evenhandedly.

It is a pleasant wine to drink.  It wants food.  A nice, seared pork loin with good carmelization on the crust comes to mind.  The price I paid seems to be the high end for this bottle.  A quick search shows it regularly sells for under $11.

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Published on: January 4, 2015

Filled Under: Reviews, Value Wine of the Week

Views: 4230

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