Thursday, February 29, 2024 Feb 29, 2024
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Malbec Man

By Julie Blacklidge |

2004 Reserve Malbec

H. Ward Lay isn’t quite what you’d expect from the son of chip magnate Herman W. Lay, Frito-Lay founder and former chairman of the board for Pepsico. Yes, Ward is the founder of Pepsi-Gemex & Circle T Foods. But he also did something most successful businessmen can only dream about: he started a world-famous winery in the shadow of the Andes mountains in Argentina. Any guy with a spare million or so can start a winery, but that doesn’t mean the wine will be drinkable. Andeluna Cellars isn’t just any winery. It produces some of the tastiest Malbecs on the market today. (The Reserve Malbec made No. 55 on Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2006.) Lay approached longtime friend Ricardo Reina Rutini, whose family has been growing grapes in Mendoza, Argentina, since emigrating from Italy in 1879. Lay and Rutini pinpointed 200 acres of the family’s finest vineyards and opened Andeluna’s doors in 2002. The first vintage was produced in 2003. Italian winemaking craftsmanship is the backbone, but it’s all French varietals in these gems, including Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. And you won’t pay more than $25 for the reserves. Leave it to a Texan to make world-class wine affordable.

2004 Reserve Malbec ($21.99)
Elegant, sultry, and oh-so Argentina. Soft tannins give it a medium body with lots of ripe fruit,
followed by touches of fig and vanilla.

2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.99)
Old World meets New World with a saucy twist. Spice and pepper are followed by black fruit,
tobacco, and chocolate.

2003 Grand Reserve Pasionado ($42.99)
A true Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc. It’s rounded and balanced with a unique meld of red fruit and spice, such as anise. Pair with a juicy steak.

Available at Pogo’s Wine and Spirits, 5360 W. Lovers Ln. 214-350-8989.

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