French wine labels rarely include the grape, and sure enough, the 2010 Chateau Malbec Lartigue Medoc "Listrac" ($19) is not a malbec. The key word actually is "Medoc," an appellation in Bordeaux, and this is as dandy an introduction to that region as you'll find. The nose reveals the dark red fruit to come, which continuously pokes through from the lush start to the firm mid-palate to the long, sweet/savory finish. The very definition of harmony, this red would pair nicely with any beef, from burger to tenderloin.

Available at Tonka Bottle Shop, Sunfish Cellars, BrightWines and Haskell's Chanhassen.

Bill Ward