Over the holidays, after a bad experience with a bottle of wine that had been overlooked for too long, I spent a little time reorganizing my wine collection. I pulled out more than a dozen wines nearing the end of their drink windows so I wouldn’t miss out on anything else I had really wanted to try. Among them was my last of the regular 2005 Malbec bottling from Achával-Ferrer, one of my favorite Argentinean producers; my colleague James Molesworth’s drink recommendation on it in 2007 was "Drink now through 2008."
So I promptly opened it with our next steak dinner, hoping we weren’t too late to catch it in its prime. Fortunately, the red was still in great condition. Enticing berry aromas filled the glass. The supple dark fruit transitioned nicely into minerality on the fresh finish, which bloomed with spice and floral notes. 89 points, non-blind—just shy of its original rating. Wine Spectator tasters are relatively conservative in their recommended drink windows exactly so you don't miss wines at their most enjoyable. Still, if I had any more of this left, I wouldn’t wait much longer to finish it off.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the orignal blind-tasting review for Achával-Ferrer Malbec Mendoza 2005, (90, $25).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Argentine Malbec.