The Vines of Mendoza

#7 & #8 Month of Malbec- Punto Final Reserva and Ave Malbec


So one thing about living as an expat is that you miss certain traditions and holidays and one of them for me is Labor Day. There is just something about it- the seasons changing, the last vestiges of warm weather, the soft muted colors, there is just something...I used to live in the Napa Valley and Labor Day is the perfect excuse for everyone to fire up the grill and search through their cellars for some gems to share with friends and family. That and it is the perfect season for heirloom tomatoes, but that is another story, and yes, I do realize that I am spoiled.

So this year I am going to share some Malbec gems with you, albeit digitally, but I will take full advantage of drinking these Malbecs to celebrate at an asado that we are having on Monday at The Vines of Mendoza Private Vineyard Estates. (A close substitute, but I will still miss the caprese salad with zebra striped tomoates)

FS_steak082809_225So following The Wine Spectator's lead we would like to share the Punto Final Reserva and Ave Malbec. Click here for the full article and you can find both of these wines at 25% at The Vines of Mendoza online wine shop. Try this tasty steak recipe with them.

BODEGA RENACER Malbec Mendoza Punto Final Reserva 2006 Score: 91

A dark, tarry style, with crushed plum, fig and hoisin sauce flavors backed by an invigorating licorice snap note on the ripe, muscular finish. Powerful but driven, this brings you back for more. Drink now through 2012. 10,000 cases made. —J.M.

AVE Malbec Mendoza Premium 2007 Score: 90

(note The Vines has the 2006 rather than the 2007)

Deliciously vibrant, with mouthwatering acidity running through the dark plum, violet, pastis and licorice snap notes, which stay tangy and pure on the nicely driven finish. Drink now through 2010. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 8,000 cases made. —J.M.

Lime-Garlic Marinated Sirloin Steak

Click read further for the entire recipe! Yum

Recipe courtesy of chef John Schenk of Strip House
• 10 to 12 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

• 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

• 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 limes' worth)

• 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed

• 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

• 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

• 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning

• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

• 1 2-pound sirloin steak
1. Combine the garlic and 1/2 cup oil in a sauté pan and bring to a simmer. Gently cook for about 4 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic brown. Add the red pepper flakes and remove from the pan from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool for 1 minute, then add the lime juice and bring back to a simmer. Once a simmer is reached, remove the pan from the heat and pour the contents into a wide, shallow bowl to cool. Once the mixture is cool, stir in the coriander, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper. Combine the steak and the cooled marinade in a zip-sealed bag large enough to hold the meat flat. Marinate in refrigerator for at least for one hour but no more than four hours, turning the bag every 30 minutes or so.
2. Preheat the grill to high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and discard any solids that may be clinging to the meat and pat the meat dry with paper towels. Use clean hands or a brush to lightly oil the meat, then season it with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill it over high heat for 3 minutes or until charred, then turn with tongs and grill the other side, 3 minutes for medium-rare, 5 minutes for medium, 7 minutes for well-done. Remove the steak from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 4.
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