Trumpeter Extra Brut Rosé de Malbec 2018 $26

What’s the Deal? Argentina is in a weird place. Their signature grape€”Malbec€”has been such a runaway success worldwide that an entire generation of winemakers has gotten wealthy crafting a wine that’s become synonymous with great value, approachable reds. But even in success there are some issues. Small, bespoke producers want consumers to know that Argentina is more than Malbec. And even the big boys are concerned about dominating a market so much that a fall must eventually come€”see Aussie Shiraz two decades ago. 

What’s In the Bottle? This bottle sort of encompasses both issues, really. Trumpeter is owned by Rutini, a very well-regarded large winemaker, and while the grape is Malbec, this is about as far as you can get to a $20 red Malbec and still be using the same grape. And this bottle very much comes from the niche, low alcohol school of the cool kids€”again light years away from most Malbecs. It’s very low in alcohol€”10.7%€”and it has some very up front acidity that’s a touch atypical for Malbec. The bubbles are fine (this is made in the time consuming Traditional Method, like Champagne) are persistent and there are lovely notes of bitter cherry and some lovely, classy notes of toast that give this a jump above most under $30 sparklers.

Should I Buy? A big yes. It’s on sale to March 6 and while I appreciate it’s not cheap, it’s a solid over-deliverer. It would be a blast to take to a blind tasting of wine nerds, because they’d both love it and never, ever guess where it was from (or what grape it is). Also this seems to be a bit of a smoking deal in BC given that this store in the UK sells if for £26.25, which is almost double our cost.