Earlier last year, I tried previous vintages of these wines respectively and enjoyed both. The Gascon ’11 was a standout in the under $20 category. The Starborough ’12 wasn’t as good but still a decent value. I figured I’d update my impressions of these wines based on their new vintages. Let’s start with the Gascon 2013 Malbec review/vintage update.
The Gascon 2013 Malbec is not like the ’11 at all. It’s nose is less potent, the tannins aren’t as smooth, and it tastes like a Merlot. I checked the website for Gascon before I writing this but I only found the information for ’11 version. I was pretty disappointed. Even though, it’s not a bad wine, it’s not nearly as impressive or as good of a specimen of Malbec as the ’11. The previous vintage was easily a 90-point wine and this I’d be hard pressed to give it more than an 86. I made sure the conditions were the same, I aerated it and used the same glass with just about the same amount of chilling. I did notice the price tag was lower on this year than the ’11 so perhaps the retailers realize they can’t charge more than $10 for this wine.
The Starborough 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is slightly better than the 2012. The fruit is more concentrated in this vintage, especially the grapefruit, lime, and passion fruit notes. The gooseberry is not quite as strong and more balanced than the year before. The acidity is still high but it feels rounder in the mouth somehow. It’s still racy and mouthwatering but more balanced overall. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again for $9. My last review I gave it an 87 and I feel comfortable giving this one an 89 points. With the acidity tamed and the fruit in better balance this is a great starting point for those of you looking to try a New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc.
I’m disappointed with the Gascon 2013 Malbec and I’m surprised with the Starborough 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. As a semi-wine connoisseur, I understand a wine will vary from year to year. I appreciate when a winery embraces what nature has given them, I feel that is what happened here for both producers. Maybe a bad year for Argentian wine makes for a good year in New Zeland?
Have you tried the Gascon 2013 Malbec or Starborough 2013 Sauvignon Blanc? If so let us know your thoughts!