For as many posts reviewing wine that I have, I have never had an offer for a free sample. Now I have gotten a bit of free wine here in there from referral credits and also refunds from wines that didn’t meet expectations or were bad. But never have I ever had someone say “Here, have a free bottle to sample?” As nice as it sounds for a lot of wine reviewers the pressure of the hospitality is sometimes overwhelming. If you open the bottle and it is great a sense of relief falls over your but if it is not very good you get a little nervous.
This brings us to the 2010 Hand of God Fingerprint Series Malbec Blend that I received a discount on from a solicitation by the owner on Twitter. This wine is the cheaper of his red’s retailing at about $45 on their website. It is a blend of 55% Malbec, 35% Syrah, and 10% Petit Verdot. According to their website:
One of the goals of Hand of God is to showcase Argentina by blending the traditional with new ideas. This blend represents that. It is not the typical blend but is one that pleases from the beginning bouquet through the finish. It stands alone but pleasantly pulls flavors from the food. This is not your typical Malbec blend, it is unique, just like every fingerprint.
Malbec is one of the original red Bordeaux varietals, and is widely planted throughout Argentina. Argentina’s most highly rated Malbec wines originate from Mendoza’s high altitude wine regions of Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, the latter of which is where our Sobremesa Vineyard is planted. This vineyard and others are located in the foothills of the Andes mountains between 2,800 to 5,000 feet (800m and 1500m) elevation
Interesting. So how was it?
Color – Extremely dark purple.
Nose – White pepper, oak, blackberry and a little cassis.
Taste – Mocha and dried Blackberries.
Finish – Long with very high acid and medium tannins.
Overall, this wine was decent. I really hope it will get better with age because the first sip was so high in acid that I almost choked. That was after taking a sip of water and letting it decant for almost 2 hours. My wife had the same reaction. After your mouth adjusts it gets much better but still lacks the depth and complexity that you would expect from a $45 dollar bottle and interesting blend. I did however have it with food as well, grilled Venison and it was much better raising the rating by two grades.