Covington Cellars‘ first Malbec release is a lovely deep ruby colored Washington wine with exceptional clarity.  The grapes are from Alder Ridge Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Lots of smoke on the nose of this aromatic wine.  Blueberry is the predominant fruit on the nose. Although their tasting notes say cherry and red fruit, the consensus around our table was blueberry.

Malbec and Beef Salad

If I was on a hike, traipsing amongst ripe blueberry bushes and munching on smoky beef jerky, I would be reminded of this Malbec.  It has luscious blueberry, savory sage and spicy clove on the palate as the wine warms and airs in the glass. The tannins are moderately low for a Malbec but still sturdy enough to stand up to lighter beef dishes.  The acidity was bright, once again reflecting the tart juiciness of blueberries. The finish of this Washington Malbec was smooth and pleasing but not overly persistent.

Over the weekend we had a lot of fun experimenting with food and wine pairings for our new project. Since Covington Cellars is our winery of the month, we wanted to make sure to include one of their wines in the line up.  Jonathan paired the 06 Malbec with a lovely beef sirloin salad dressed with Parmesan cheese butter and shallots glazed in balsamic vinegar. It was an exquisite pairing and it ended up being my favorite pairing of the evening.  I don’t think I would want to pair this Malbec with a big steak or anything to over the top spicy. Some Malbecs are so big they almost sweep you off your feet but this one is more of a subtle flirt and needs to be paired accordingly. It also paired well with the North African Risotto that Nancy made. The cinnamon and roasted vegetables in the risotto paired well with the smoke and spice in this wine.

I sampled this wine the next day and I started to pick up some of that cherry alluded to in their tasting notes. It was subtle but definitive. I also picked up a hint of raspberry, but blueberry continued to predominate in the nose and palate. I tried it again today as I was writing this post and it was showing its age a bit. If you don’t finish the bottle in a single sitting, make sure to finish it the next day. It is tasty enough that you shouldn’t have any problem doing so!

This wine retails for $35. I will leave the QPR ratings to the pros.