Everything about the 2009 Substance Malbec is just right: from the brilliant Periodic Table of the Elements label design (which grace the full Wines of Substance lineup) to the quality and distinctiveness of the wine for the price. When font, design, and wine come together, I plead guilty to being smitten.
Though Argentina put Malbec on the map and in the glass for many wine drinkers, this grape is making a stand in Washington. It’s been tough, if not near impossible, to compete price-wise with Argentina. So I applaud the Substance Malbec for coming in under the $20 mark. And, stylistically, it is more restrained than ultra-juicy Argentine Malbec; a little more elegant and refined. (Two qualities I like in a wine.) My guess is that it has to do with one of the fruit sources for this wine: the Mars Hill Vineyard. The high elevation of this site helps keep a welcome level of natural acidity in the wine to prevent it from being gloppy with fruit.
I shouldn’t be surprised that this wine is such a smashing success. Wines of Substance is a collaboration between Waters Winery and Gramercy Cellars, two wineries that produce some of my favorite Washington wines. Buying and enjoying these wines is elementary, my dear wine drinkers.
Periodic Table of Typefaces image courtesy bccny.