LAB RAT REPORT:
PASSO DOBLE MASI TUPUNGATO 2009 MENDOZA MALBEC
A very nice honor to receive my second Lab Rat assignment. My first review was in 2007 for the Calistoga CS offer, before Cheron was packing the reports. I have tried and enjoyed many Mendoza Malbecs (Norton, Colome, BenMarco, Trapiche, Catena Alta, Pulenta, etc.) and was excited about the opportunity to try this offering.
As others have noted, this wine is 70% Malbec and 30% Corvina, a grape that was not part of the Malbecs I have tried-usually, other Malbec blends I have had are with other Bourdeaux varietals. The addition of Corvina here differentiates this wine from a "typical" Malbec.
The Masi was poured into a Reidel Bourdeaux glass and paired with a spagetti with meatball casserole. The color was a reddish violet, not as purplish or dark as other Malbecs. On the nose was red fruit and some briar. The flavor was a bit disjointed and rough with more red fruit dominating and not much compleixty. using the Vinturi assisted in bringing both the nose and palate into more integration and allowed the underlying aromas and flavor to develop. At that point, more cedar, plum and tar was detected and there was more balance. The relatively low alcholol and the pH level in addition to the Corvina allow this wine to pair nicely with more Italian-based dishes (as opposed to a big, flavorful grilled ribeye).
Over time and post-meal, the wine held together for a while and the finish was smoother than initially-although not that long. More plum, cinammon, tobacco and sour & black cherry were now prevelent.
For people new to Malbec, I would suggest buying several different Mendoza wineries with either as a single varietal or a more traditional blend as well as this Masi so you can experience the different profiles. This particular wine is a bit different than a standard Malbec-not a bad thing at all, just another style.
As the offer does not come to my state, I cannot purchase the offer (interesting I could get the Lab Rat sample, WD-probably because it was coming from Woot not the winery). The QPR is in line but my own prefence is to generally not overload on any particular wine/winery. For those experienced Malbec people, this wine affords a unique twist.