Saturday, April 3, 2010

2009 reds: menace or, um, something else?

This is the 2009 vintage of me. Not much has changed, right? I haven't aged significantly. I mean, other than a different hairstyle (which you'll see me do quite a bit, because I get bored easily), I'm not that much different than I was last April.
And yet, between April 2009 Beth and current Beth, several new red wines have been picked, bottled and shipped out to the worldwide public. Wines that are only as old as this picture.
One night this week while serving at my night job, I noticed that our Colores Del Sol Malbec ($12) had switched vintages. Hardly uncommon in the restaurant business. But this was a change I couldn't help but notice. We had switched from the 2008 vintage, already a rather new year, to the 2009. When I first saw the label I thought it was a joke. I was appalled, yet intrigued.
So when a customer ordered a glass, I took the opportunity to grab a sippy straw, dunk it into the wine, and use my thumb to pull out a small sample. Well, let me tell you something, it was abysmal. It was too light, too bland and too sour to be considered even a decent wine! I couldn't imagine drinking a whole glass of it, let alone a bottle.

Don't let the artsy photo fool you - this wine belongs in a sauce, at best. 

And I found myself wondering how it's possible that a wine company could even consider whipping out a vintage so quickly without giving it a chance to develop. From what I've seen there are quite a few lower end wines, particularly in South America, that do this quite often. Granted, South America has a different picking time than American and Europe do (February to April instead of September to November), but all the same, it just didn't taste developed. How long does it even sit in the barrel, or the bottle, before being shipping out to stores? It can't be longer than a couple of months - it certainly doesn't taste like it sat for a long time.
So I don't know if it was the grape quality, the aging time ... or the lack of either of those things ... that let to such a sub-par product. It was a severe blow to my tastebuds, that's about all I can.
I'm going to be doing some more research into this whole new vintage anti-vintage phenomenon, trying to find out just what makes some wine companies so desperate to make a buck that they're willing to ship something out before it's anything good. Maybe buying a few and trying them out (heaven forbid). If you have any ideas or 2009 reds I should *gulp* try, let me know.


  1. I totally agree..I had a 2008 Norton Malbec the other day, it was totally disjointed! All out of sorts, barely worth the 7$ price point. I can't imagine if it had been a 2009.
    The only wines I've found to be pretty decent that young are the Sauv. Blancs from NZ, and even then it can be hit or miss.

  2. Oh man my husband would love you. He loves wine and makes his own. And that can get annoying when you live in a little basement suite..

  3. Yeah, I'm digging some of the 2009 NZ Sauv Blancs, because light whites don't need to age as much. The funny thing is that people don't really seem to notice. They're just, like, "ooh, Malbec! I'll try some." Sheep.

  4. Wait, he makes the wine IN the basement suite, aka your house? Whoa!

  5. I agree absolutely on this wine, especially. Someone offered me a glass of it telling me it was one of their favorite wines. I drank, and told them it wasn't bad while thinking, "what the hell did I just put in my mouth?" (also what she said...)

    I also had a 2009 Torrontes from Urbano Uco recently that was easily the worst wine I've had this year.