The 2012 Alamos Red Blend is a mix of Malbec, Tempranillo and Bonarda (a grape that is thought to have originated in the Piedmont Region of Italy and is the 2nd most planted grape in Argentina) sourced from vineyards in the Lujan de Cuyo and the Valle de Uco growing areas of Mendoza in Argentina. Half the grapes come from Estate vineyards and the other half come from contracted growers. Alamos is one of E & J Gallo’s many brands, Gallo accounts for about 23% of all wine sold in the US. This blend was fermented in stainless steel upright open top tanks and there is no mention of any oak cask aging. Past vintages of the Alamos Red Blend included Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The alcohol content is 13.5% (bottle) or 13.7% (Alamos fact sheet).
The color is a dark black cherry red with an almost clear halo. The nose is blackberry, dark chocolate, black cherry, a little bacon fat and a whiff of smoke. This is a medium bodied wine that has a light feel on the palate. It tastes of ripe plums, raspberry jam (but not sweet) and sweet, not sour cherry. The mid palate offers blueberry, raisin spice and POM Wonderful. The tannins are well balanced and do not bite and the acidity is slightly understated. The finish is soft fruit flavors and fades quickly, but echoes hang on for some time.
The 2012 Alamos Red Blend is a very welcoming taste of Argentina. Fruit forward and friendly, but also lean and well structured. There are many good Red Blends on the market, France, Spain, Italy, California and Washington all offer well priced, delicious blends. But none taste exactly like the Alamos Red, the 3 grapes used and Argentina’s unique growing conditions make for a blend that will not be confused with the other Red blends. Ten bucks gets you a quality, good tasting Red that is easy drinking in the best sense of the phrase.