The wines of Argentina are widely well known for their food friendly nature, unbeatable prices, and quality. Ruca Malen is a winery in Argentina that aims to make the most elegant, food friendly, wines. Founded in 1998 by two French business partners, who enlisted the skilled winemaker Pablo Cuneo. The name Ruca Malen means “The House of The Young Girl”, which represents a local legend of a girl who looked up into the heavens and saw her reflection. She was rewarded with a house overlooking the world’s splendors.
Besides making renowned Argentinian wines with French techniques, Ruca Malen also has a restaurant, which was awarded the best winery restaurant in the world at The Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards. This award was given last November in San Francisco. The winery makes great efforts and appreciates this recognition due to their mission of ongoing efforts to establish a world class wine and dining experience at Ruca Malen.
The wines range from $12.99-75.00, which for wines of this quality is a great value. Having lunch with Pablo was a highlight of the season. Here I tasted his 2015 Torrontes which is bright golden yellow in color with green hues, floral notes of jasmine blossom, and a fresh, fruity finish. This wine pairs beautifully with white asparagus, sushi, and seafood. Argentina is known widely for producing Malbec, which today, is a very popular grape varietal and wine choice. Malbec is food friendly, and the 2014 Ruca Malen Malbec is brilliant red with intense red fruit aromas and spice notes. The wine is juicy and well rounded with smooth tannins and a long finish. Grilled red meats, pasta, and empanadas pair beautifully with this wine.
The winery also produces a 2014 Malbec Reserva which sees 12 months in 80% French Oak and 20% American Oak, which is present and well balanced in this wine. Beautiful violet hues, this wine is full of jammy plums, red fruit, and spice notes. On the palate some herbal notes are present along with subtle hints of caramel and vanilla. Spicy lamb, roasted meats, risotto, or heavier dishes would pair wonderfully with this wine.
Besides producing the typical Argentinian varietals such as Malbec and Torrontes, Ruca Malen also produces Petit Verdot’s and red blends. The 2013 Petit Verdot Reserva is deep ruby red, complex, and intense. These red wines can age for another 7 years, however when consumed now, they are structured and powerful, full of red fruit and spice.
With the upcoming fall season, these wines will be a hit with many of the comforting, rich dishes being consumed. Bodega Ruca Malen is available at many stores in Manhattan as well as in the tri-state area. Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love… please pair responsibly!