The Wine Curmudgeon has been looking for a great, cheap Argentine malbec for years. The Yellow + Blue ($10 for a 1-liter box) may be it.
A couple of caveats: Availability could be limited, and there’s no guarantee that the wine will be around after this vintage. That’s because it’s the project of a startup importer called J. Soif, and wine importing is a difficult business. What works one year may not work the next year.
Having said that, the Yellow + Blue is a $10 Hall of Fame candidate that delivers more than $10 worth of wine. It has well-done tannins, something that’s rare in cheap malbec, and the fruit isn’t so over the top that it covers everything else else up, another flaw in $10 malbec.
So what about the box? Soif boss Matthew Cain, who has worked for Kermit Lynch, one of the best importers in the world, says his focus is not only on quality wine, but on green wine. Hence organic grapes and the box, called a TetraPak, which is supposed to be less harmful to the environment than a glass bottle.
This is an interesting sales pitch, but the problem with selling wine as environmentally friendly is that most of the wine that makes that claim doesn’t taste this good. Consumers are stuck with a tradeoff between quality and carbon footprint, and what’s the point of that? If all I cared about was the environment, I’d drink boxed Franzia.
The green wine discussion deserves its own post, which I’ll get to soon. Until then, enjoy the Yellow + Blue.