Ahhh, harvest time. Ripe, sweet, fat malbec grapes. Nothing is better than tasting the grapes in the hot sun gazing at the Andes, and then eating a succulent bife chorizo at an outdoor table either at the winery or at a local restaurant.
Trapiche, seleccion roble, Syrah, 2007 has a warm, slightly oaky nose with some caramel. Medium-full bodied, very accessible, definitely oaked, the fruit is hiding but it sings paired with a juicy steak. Good wine, but not for the "oak monster" haters. 41 pesos/500ml (that's about $12) in the restaurant Winery. Total cost for a great meal, a glass of white Torrontes and the bottle of red wine was $30. That's a wow.
Bodega Giaquinta is just outside Tupungato in the Uco Valley. In local restaurants a few kilometers from the winery I tried their higher end and lower end malbecs. The lower end generic Malbec, 2007 costs 28 pesos, clocks in at 14% alcohol and is dark, opaque purple. Very ripe, almost sweet plums, very fruity, so dense it was close to being a dessert wine. Not the best dinner wine, more of a sipper, but would make a killer house wine for the price. This is way better than most cheap wines available up in Canada. No fakeness here, just an authentic, honest wine.
The most expensive wine in the restaurant was the Giaquinta, FG Malbec Roble 2004 at 58 pesos. Only 3000 bottles of this wine were made, so I don't expect to see this outside Mendoza. Vanilla and cedar nose. Medium bodied, gorgeous wine, smooth and very slick, fantastic blend of oak and blackberry fruit. This could be from Bordeaux (except for the price!). Wow.
Below is the view when you're stuck behind a truck full of grapes heading for the bodega in Lujan....Cheers!!