A family event brought us through Memphis, Tennessee one recent weekend, and a group dinner at Felicia Suzanne called for one special bottle of Malbec. But where to buy?
Quench, across from the Peabody Hotel, had a couple of decent mid-range Argentine reds, but nothing to write home about. A phone call to another recommended store, The Corkscrew, revealed little more than the same.
Time to consult Yelp, which revealed Joe’s Wines & Liquor, 10 minutes away in Midtown. A phone call quickly revealed this store was worth a visit.
First of all, you have to love the retro Sputnik signage – your first clue this place is a cut above. And the Argentine red selection was very nice. While including the usual suspects like Achaval Ferrer Malbec, the always-delicious Luigi Bosca D.O.C., and Catena Alta, this proved the perfect place to explore the Terroir Series from Traphiche. These wines are designed to showcase very specific microclimates and soil.
Our choice was the Robert Parker 94-rated Trapiche Terroir Series Finca Ambrosia, (4 / 5) which sources from Gualtallary. It was a big, bold and powerful New World red that demanded a good steak and at least a half hour of decanting. Honestly, I still found it opening up almost an hour after the cork came out.
At dinner, the wine accomplished its goal – which was to share with new friends the incredible artistry, story, taste and value of today’s Argentine malbecs. We can’t wait to try another bottle in the Terroir Series.
Oh, and back to Joe’s. They have a super-friendly, knowledgable staff who is eager to share what they learned, and for you beer drinkers out there, a fantastic growler station which sells growlers as well as customized cans of draft with their own distinctive labels. I would characterize the wine prices as $3-5 higher than you might find at a Costco, but the convenience and expertise make Joe’s a very worthwhile visit indeed.