Bodega Norton Malbec Reserva 2010

Argentina, $18

Every year the Wine Spectator announces their Top 100 about this time, and every year I vow I’m not going to get sucked on go on some wild goose chase trying to track down the named bottles—and every year I get sucked into doing it notwithstanding. In my defense, I was in Oregon at Domaine Serene (whose Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir was #3) when the list was announced so I’d have to truly have been a man of principle to not buy a bottle. Back across the border in a less liberal wine-buying climate, the story is usually a bit more bleak—the wine is harder to find and when you do, it’s double the price that’s listed in the magazine. I say usually because #36 is the Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve 2010—and it’s listed as $2 more expensive than it is here. Admittedly, it’s for the newer vintage (we’re still mostly on the 2010) but look at this way: you get a free year of bottle age and Norton isn’t exactly the type of winery with discernible quality swings between vintages, so load up. The WS folks say it taste like raspberry ganache, which I suppose it does, but there’s some nice structure to go with the sweet fruit and even some nice smoky notes.

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