The 2011 Real del Pedro Oak Cask Aged Malbec is a $6.99 Aldi’s import exclusive sourced from vines grown in the Mendoza region of Argentina. The cork says this wine was Estate bottled, but not which Estate. The back label says this Malbec was aged in oak casks or barrels for 6 months. Red wines in this price range often have oak chips or staves added to the steel fermentation tanks to impart oak flavoring, so that someone thought enough of these grapes to use the more expensive casks and barrels is a good sign. The bottle is a substantial and heavy, no thin Eco-bottle here, and the alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is see thru cherry red with black highlights and a strawberry halo. The nose is blackberry, plum, licorice, oak spice and Wrigley’s spearmint gum. Very smooth and somewhat simple upfront, with a bit of spice and texture near the finish. It tastes of fresh plum, milk chocolate and mildly tart cherry. The mid palate brings in some a soft slap of curry spice, dusty chocolate powder and a slight pull from the tannins. The acidity is hidden until the finish and it allows the plum and spice finish motor along for a decent amount of time.
The Real del Pedro Malbec is a pretty decent, inexpensive Malbec, it is a little hollow between the upfront fruit and the mid palate, but that is not a huge complaint for an oak barrel aged wine selling for less than 7 bucks. If you pair it with stuffed blue cheese burgers or Buffalo chicken wings you wouldn’t notice any hollow spots. And if you popped the top to have a glass or two while checking out a basketball game or a hockey match on TV, you will just be thinking, “Hey, this ain’t bad for a $6.99 Malbec.”