Tapiz "Alta Collection" Mendoza Malbec 2014

Malbec remains popular because consumers see good value in its $12-$16 "sweet spot." But for a few more bucks, you can get some juice that tastes more like a $30 wine. The Tapiz "Alta Collection" Mendoza Malbec 2014 ($20) boasts a seriously heady nose, meaty, peppery and dark-fruit flavors and just-right grip and silkiness on the finish. If it's reminiscent of a nice Bordeaux, this may be the reason: Jean-Claude Berrouet, who retired as winemaker at Petrus after 44 vintages, is consulting. The grapes are grown at 4,600 feet in Argentina's Uco Valley. This red is a dandy steak wine and also would play well with a portobello sandwich or roast chicken.

Available at Liquor Boy, 1010 Washington, Atomic Liquor, North Branch muni and Dennis Brothers.

Bill Ward