I do like Argentine wines. Malbec, which is their flagship wine, can be found just about anywhere in the world now, so it was no surprise when I spotted it on the wine list of a cruise ship recently.
Let me backtrack a bit and say that I was on a wine-themed cruise around the coasts of France, Spain and Portugal so I felt it was my duty to explore and examine the wine lists that were presented to us. Most passengers spend the majority of their dinners in the main dining room of the ship and so that is where I first looked. I was with Celebrity Cruises which is American-owned so the wine list pretty much reflected American wine tastes: heavy on the New World but with a nice selection of Old World as well.
What caught my eye was the 2009 Luigi Bosca Malbec. I am quite familiar with Luigi Bosca, having tried many of his wines both here in the UK and in Argentina. Bosca wines are known for being quite full and rich and I was expecting this wine to be more of the same.
However, I don’t know if it was the salty sea air or some other reason but the 2009 Malbec failed to impress. At first I thought it might be off, and asked my companion, another wine writer, to taste it. He pronounced it drinkable albeit disappointing – there was no fault with the wine, it just wasn’t very good. The fruit was tired and the wine was thin, not nearly as full-bodied as I had remembered it. It was drinkable, but at 3 years old it should have still have plenty of body and fruit coming forward, not like the tired wine we were served.
Perhaps it had been stored incorrectly – moving around back and forth on ships might be bad for it, although I didn’t find fault with any other wines that I tried while on the ship. In any case, the Luigi Bosca 2009 is past its sell by date or at least the one on the ship was.
Luigi Bosca 2009 Malbec is available in the UK, online from Bancroft Wines priced at £13.50 RRP. Try it, maybe you’ll have better luck then me.