Albae Malbec 2015

The first of my two favourite red wines from the Bodega Albae wine tasting at TomeVinos Barrio Salamanca. This is a 100% Malbec and the second that will be posted tomorrow is a 100% Tempranillo. As with all the Albae reds they are matured in French oak barrels for 6 months. I bought a bottle of both.

The interesting thing about this wine is I had the opportunity to try it twice over a span of two weeks and I wrote tasting note both times, so I was able to compare notes and see if it was the same. This is important because the first time I ordered it as a wine by the glass, so the bottle had been open for some time. The second it was at the Tome Vino wine tasting and the bottle had just been opened.

Most wine drinkers know that a wine’s flavour will change the longer it is open as the wine starts to react with the oxygen in the air, At first this can produce improvements to the flavour which is why they recommend that you decant mature reds. However leave the bottle open too long and the wine will eventually convert to vinegar. I personally prefer red wines that have been open for at least an hour as the fruit flavours express more. At most tastings the bottle has been open less than 15 minutes which does affect my enjoyment of it. Having said that it is rare when you buy a wine that you would sit and wait over an hour before you drank it.

The other reason tasting a wine twice is important is because environment and mood does effect your enjoyment of a drink. A wine can taste very different when you’re enjoying yourself versus on a bad day.

Fortunately for the Malbec I agreed with myself both subjectively and objectively (see my podcast ‘Objectivity is Tough’). Though the flavours were definitely more pronounced in the first tasting where the bottle had been open for longer.

This wine is an inky purple with a medium to pronounced scent of smoky black currant, red fruit and raw tobacco. The smokiness became more pronounced the longer the bottle was open.

It delivered on taste as well with a lovely ripe black currant flavour, some smokiness, vanilla, prunes and raw tobacco. It is a dry wine of medium tannins, some acidity, medium body and a lingering finish. The second time I tried it the acidity was more pronounced and the flavours less so. I often find this is the case when a wine has just been opened. I did the whole swirling the wine in the glass (this helps to expose it to the air) and left it resting in the glass while I tried some other wines. When I came back to it the fruity tobacco flavours were coming through again. This wine definitely needs to be aired for a bit to be at its best.

Objectively I’d have to say this is a good wine due to the variety of flavours, the way it fills your mouth, it’s finish and the fact that the acidity and tannins were just right for me. Subjectively I love the flavours of raw tobacco and fruit. It’s one of my favourites. I’ve never associated raw tobacco with Malbec before and I’ve tried a fair few from Chile and Argentina. Perhaps it was the effect of oak barrelling for 6 months. I don’t know, but if so then they should definitely oak this grape more.

Photo by
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Name: Albae Malbec
Colour: Red
Year: 2015
Grapes 100% Malbec
Winery: Bodega Albae
Country: Spain
Region: Castilla la Mancha
Quality Classification: Non Applicable
Alcohol: 14%
Price: 6,40€

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