La Frenz Naramata Bench Malbec, 2010

Naramata Malbec.  Hmmm.  Sounds like an oxymoron.  But this La Frenz offering is in fact an honest to god Malbec; has a pungent toasty tannic kick and appealing fruit finish.

As a sipper: So so.  It just didn’t rise to the occasion the way so many Argentinean Malbecs do (and, for better or worse, many rise higher in the $19-23 price range).

With food it was much finer.  A mixed grill—lamb, beef, buffalo—was the perfect pairing, best with the buffalo but great all round.  More spice, depth, berry, less chalk.

We found this wine hugely enjoyable.  And, truthfully, we were a little surprised at how accomplished it seemed given that we don’t often think of Malbec and the southern Okanagan as a marriage made in heaven.  At the same time, it’s up against stiff competition and as a “value” wine it fell short.  We also wondered, if in the future La Frenz blended it, Cahors style, that maybe they would in fact have one of the best reds in the valley.  Just askin…

Price: $25 from the vineyard; not in BC Liquor stores.

Market Liquidity: Like a good movie that you only need to see once.

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