The Diseño Old Vine Malbec 2014 is a collaboration by 2 Wineries (both unnamed) in the Uco Valley and the Lujan de Cuyo Valley (both high-altitude growing areas) in the Mendoza region of Argentina. Diseño is one of Constellation Brands family of wines, they include Kim Crawford, Mark West, Mouton Cadet, Rex Goliath, Robert Mondavi, Ravenswood and many others. Old Vines is not a legal term, it can be 30-year-old vines or 140-year-old vines. But generally speaking an “old vine” struggles to bring nutrients from the soil to the grapes and this struggle allows the grapes to develop slowly and the longer they develop the more complex they become. The high-altitude vineyards offer the grapes intense sunlight and the height also eliminate most pests and vine diseases. This Malbec is oak barrel aged and has an alcohol content of 13.5%. The Diseño Malbec is widely available, Target, grocery stores and liquor stores for $10 and quite possibly a buck or two under.
The color is a dark, barely see-thru raspberry jam red with black highlights. The nose is blackberry, brownies baking in the oven, strawberry, ripe blueberry, vanilla, and a whiff of mocha coffee. This Malbec is rich, but still nicely balanced, with a mouth-feel that fully engages the palate. It tastes of very ripe blackberry, close to blackberry liqueur territory, black licorice, Snickers chocolate and toasty vanilla. The mid-palate adds black cherry, chocolate powder, and a soft hit of spice. The tasting notes sound more like something decadent from the bakery than a $10 Red wine. The tannins are silky smooth and the acidity is ample and supple enough to allow the flavors to unfold. The finish mirrors the body of the wine, though it fades quickly.
The Diseño Old Vine Malbec 2014 delivers tons of flavor, a bit of complexity, and a solid amount of value. As for pairings, I think pork loin with a cherry based sauce will hit the spot, and as shown by the tasting notes this Malbec drinks well on its own.