Vibrant and Juicy Reds from Austria and Argentina.
Beck Ink Austria 2018, 12.5%,
Colour of this Austrian blend is a mid to deep ruby, with a lighter rim. Cherry features in fairly intense aromas. Juicy and fruity on the palate. moderately spicy too. Mouthfeel is smooth, drinking is easy as harmony reigns between fruit flavours and acidity. I like light, red and dry and this is Very Highly Recommended. An easy quaffer, fresh and aromatic, and light for sure.
The label is dominated by an octopus expelling ink. Not much else though two key words appear: trocken (dry) and Bio-Wein. Not much on the outside then but quality all the way inside this Austrian bottle.
Ink is a fresh, juicy, vibrant and delicious blend of 80% Zweigelt and 20% St. Laurent. Both are traditional Austrian varieties and the former is the most widely planted red-wine grape in the country - by the way, most of wine-growing is done in the eastern part.
Judith Beck is based in Burgenland and has produced wines in accordance with bio-dynamic principles since 2007. There is a possibility of some sediment (none in this bottle) so probably best to decant. No big deal either way.
Interestingly, St Laurent was one of the “parents” (the other was Blaufränkisch) when Zweigelt was created in 1922. Aside from Laurent and Zweigelt, some of the other grapes that come into the light dry red category are Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cinsault, Grenache and Nebbiolo. Giant Steps in the Yarra Valley (Australia) make quite a good one, a blend of Pinot Noir and Syrah, called LDR.
El Abasto Malbec Mendoza 2018, 14.5%
This vibrant fruity full-bodied wine is named after an 1983 established market that became also a centre for tango, poetry, and culture.
Mid to dark ruby is the colour. The aromas are full of dark and red fruit, all saying welcome, come on. And in the mouth, it is equally loveable, totally gluggable. That punchy yet soft fruit comes in a medium body, and the wine is smooth right through to the finalé. Put this on your Malbec shortlist. Highly Recommended.
Pair with charcuterie, cold cuts, firm cheeses, steak, burgers, pasta with red sauce. And it can be served chilled, though you probably won’t need to do that at this time of year!
There are, according to Wines of South America, two main factors that help Malbec thrive in Mendoza. The low rainfall (12” as against 30” Bordeaux) and its timing, falling mostly in the summer, promotes ripening and minimises disease. Second, Mendoza’s wide thermal amplitude (put simply, the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures) promotes aromatic development and softened tannins. The proof’s in the glass.