Here’s a nifty little Argentine malbec — the country’s great success grape — with plenty of oomph to stand up to burgers, hearty elportillo_malbec_lab_sm2.jpg pizzas and pasta dishes, grilled pork chops and perhaps even a ribeye steak. El Portillo — the portal or gateway — is perched about a thousand meters above the Mendoza valley in that area’s Uco region. The winery’s Malbec 2006 sees no oak, so it comes by its rumbling, cushiony tannins and firm structure naturally. The wine is highly perfumed, a beguiling amalgam of ripe black currant, blueberry and plum, dried flowers and dried herbs, cedar and tobacco. It takes a darker turn in the mouth, the black fruit flavors reveal more spice, hints of wild berry come in. The finish is chewy and a bit brambly.

Very good+ and fairly priced at about $12.

Palm Bay Imports, Boca Reton, Fla.