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12th October
written by The Chronicler

Battle of the Budget Wines continues with a comparison of Bodega Elena de Mendoza Malbec 2009 and Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec Mendoza 2009.  I had a little help comparing these two wines from the ladies who attended a party hosted by my favorite makeup artist.  As we tried on jewelry, received makeovers, and engaged in girl talk, we sipped on these two Malbecs.

Trapiche v. Bodega Elena

Bodega Elena and Trapiche are priced at around $10 at my local grocery store and both have prominent notes of plum and blackberry which is characteristic of Malbec.  Trapiche Malbec, however, is distinctive for its toasted oak flavors.  It was aged for a year in French and American oak barrels, imparting notes of vanilla, baking spices, and dill.  Additionally, this Malbec has notes of black cherry, raspberry and a dash of smoked cayenne pepper.  It is full bodied and balances luscious fruit with tannins.  This full flavored, oaky wine would pair well with red or grilled meat.

Bodega Elena’s Malbec is medium bodied and packing a lot of fruit tempered by soft tannins.  I picked up notes of raspberry, black cherry, violets and fresh jalepeno peppers.  Bodega Elena was the ladies’ choice for its fruity character.  Interestingly, one of the ladies who enjoyed this Malbec is a sweet white wine, i.e. Moscato, drinker, so it may be a good gateway red wine for white wine drinkers.  (Remember not to confuse sweet with fruity.  Malbec is typically fruity but not sweet.)

Bodega Elena is a much easier drinking wine than the Trapiche Oak Cask, but they are two different styles of Malbec.  Although the ladies enjoyed Bodega Elena Malbec best, I am not sure that I can declare a winner of this battle.  Both wines are a good value:  it just depends on what you are looking for—easy drinking Malbec with lots of fruit and spice or a full bodied Malbec that pairs well with red and grilled meat.  You decide.



  1. [...] The Cork Chronicles thought it was very fruity and “easy drinking,” and suggested it might be a good “gateway red” for white wine drinkers. [...]

  2. 26/11/2011

    Interesting face-off! I tried the Bodega Elena de Mendoza Malbec 2010 and thought it was quite good for a sub-$10 wine. Now, I’ve got to hunt down the Trapiche!


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