One of my favorite wines: Don Martino Old Vine Malbec
This wine was on Daniel Kuhlman's Tastes Wine Bar & Bistro wine list from 2007-2010. It started with the 2003 vintage and ended up with the 2007 vintage. Every time it was put on the wine by the glass menu, it flew off the racks and into peoples glasses. It was on the pricier end of the spectrum for my humble wine bar. Over the years, a glass sold for between $11-13 (prices averaged $9 and topped at $16). I think the new vintage is 2010 but online reviews are looking positive for that one. But if you can get a hold of a 2003, that one drank super nice!
This wine epitomized my philosophy of quality to price ratio. By far, this wine was the best quality for the lowest cost on my list. Sure there were lower priced wines but not this good. This wine had it all; richness, jamminess and subtlety (you might think it oxymoronic but its not). The old vines made it really special. Tried the Reserva but the plain old old vine is the ticket.
Malbec is one of those cool varietals that is really trendy. There are some really good ones out there and some really bad ones. Watch out for the cheap ones, you get what you pay for. I like the ones from Argentina. It used to be a blending grape in France and they have started to use it as a stand alone varietal based on the success of the grape in South America. But it is different in France. It lacks much of the jammy intensity and is a bit too sharp and austere for my palate. It should probably keep it's blending role there.
It started coming from one of the smaller distributors and ended up migrating to Southern Wines who have a much larger national US presence. It should be available for under $20 retail at most decent shops or you can ask them to get it.