We pour Norton Malbec Reserva 2010 from Mendoza, Argentina and start sipping right away. The nose is pleasantly plum plus something I can’t quite identify. The taste is a tight concentration of fruit and I don’t detect any secondary flavors. The finish is somewhat bitter. At this point the wine hasn’t made a very good first impression.
Despite our initial impression of the wine, we don’t give up on it. We let it decant in the glass for a while, give it several hearty swirls, and try it again. Eventually the wine opens up and we begin to enjoy it. The dark fruits in the nose are joined by a hint of root beer. The taste of fruit begins to mellow and balances with the tannins and acid. The bitterness in the finish of the first sip is replaced by an echo of the dark fruits. By the end of the bottle, we like it much better. My lesson learned for Norton Malbec is to make sure it’s decanted before drinking. Costs about $14.