To try and beat a rainy weekend day in New York's Hudson Valley, I took the whole family out for lunch at Terrapin restaurant in Rhinebeck. It's got a solid wine list, and the modern American cooking on the casual bistro side is fresh comfort food—salads, sandwiches and the like—but taken up a notch.
I went for the duck confit, gruyère and smoked onion in a pita and eyed this Argentine Malbec for a mere $33 on the list. The Punto Final Reserva is ripe, polished and pure, with well-integrated toast letting the blackberry, raspberry and spice notes play out. The red didn't overwhelm the food at all, and it was just as fresh at the end of the bottle as it was at the beginning.
Though located in Argentina, Bodega Renacer is actually owned by a Chilean businessman, Patricio Reich, who uses consultant Alberto Antonini in concert with winemaker Héctor Durigutti. They source this wine from 50-year-old vines located in both the Perdriel and La Consulta areas of Mendoza and give it just a year in a mix of new and used barrels before bottling.
This delicious value delivers an outstanding Argentine Malbec experience, with pure, ripe—but not overdone—fruit. I found it hard to argue with my official review at 91 points.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Bodega Renacer Malbec Mendoza Punto Final Reserva 2006 (91, $20).