Review: 2008 Novus Ordo Malbec Mendoza

Last September Tom Johnson (author of Louisville Juice and the most entertaining wine writer on the planet) wrote a piece about meeting Tom Caparelli.  Read it and you'll understand why I dropped Mr. Caparelli a line the same day.  Low and behold, gent that he is, a sample of Novus Ordo showed up a few weeks later.

Billed as an Argentinian wine with an Italian soul, the Malbec is not what I expected.  Tasted blind, it was easy to peg it as South American, though I guessed it to be a $12-ish bottle.  Dark, nearly opaque, and slippery in the glass, it's got a fast slicing bite of alcohol on the nose with closed black fruit aromatics.  Dense, but lithe - and not chewy - Strong, bracing tannins are packaged in a medium-bodied wrapper.  Needs time to unwind as the fruit is hidden and tight, but will it loosen up?  The black fruit character was good, but leaner than most Malbec and with that singular South American Cabernet green vegetable tinge.  Well made, if a little indistinct. But, hey, these guys are just getting going.  Stay tuned...$19