Here's an interesting, medium-bodied red, with earthy and smoky plum and berry character upfront, followed by a mineral, almost salty aftertaste. Firm backbone. Needs good, hearty Tuscan food. Good value. Best after 2002. 10,000 cases made. Best Buy.
This winery, owned by Argentina's Nicolás Catena, has made a name for itself with its consistently excellent values. This latest Malbec release, from winemaker Estella Perinetti, is sweet, fleshy and succulent, with blackberry, blueberry and bramble note —James Molesworth
The Spanish red still has stuffing despite its age. Plum, chocolate and light game flavors show depth in this round red. Has enough grip and freshness for food. Made from a bend of Cencibel (Tempranillo) and Monastrell (Mourvèdre). Drink now through 2003 —Thomas Matthews
Viña Montes is one of Chile's most consistent producers -- both for value priced offerings and high-end bottlings. Ripe berry and currant fruit, with smoke and mineral notes and a firm, focused finish. Should flesh out a bit short-term. Drink now through —James Molesworth