Oh the joy of finding a great value! The 2011 Diseño old vine Malbec is a wine crafted in the great tradition of Argentine Malbec that tastes much better than you would think for a $10 bottle. Malbec at this price point can be jammy with way too much fruit, but not this one!
It has the hefty structure and complexity of great Malbec and while the fruit is definitely there, it's balanced on a smooth beam of mineral and subtle notes of tobacco. When pouring you immediately see its dark inky color, a deep purple so dark it verges on black. The nose is subtle and floral rather than like a jar of Smuckers.
It's supremely drinkable and a great food match, doing well with anything from spicy tomato sauce pasta with spicy Italian sausage, to sauteéd boneless chicken thighs. I most recently had this with a spiced pork chop agrodolce accompanied with some lemon garlic Brussels sprouts and butternut squash; it was very good! The pork chop is very easy to prepare and you can find the recipe on my Pinterest page.
I rate this an 8.5 on my scale at the left.