So it’s no wonder a lot of people that enjoy red wine enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon’s. The issue with the style/varietal is that the cost of admission for the highly rated, big, brash, in-your-face, mind meltingly awesome Napa (and other CA regions’) Cabs can be pretty high. So most of us are left to wade in the shallow end of the pool where the drinking is much thinner and doesn’t have a lot going on as far as complexity is concerned.
Then we can remember there are actually other places that can make a Cabernet Sauvignon (it came from France for chrissakes) that you don’t have to trade a first-born (or any-born for that matter) to take home. And, as it turns out, Argentina is pretty good at it. For a place I’d usually think of when it comes to their Malbec and grapes of Spanish descent, they can apparently do a pretty nice Cab as well.
And that brings us around to tonight’s wine, a Cab Sauv from Mendoza, Argentina.
BenMarco – 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – 13.9% alc – Mendoza, Argentina – about $18
As per usual, this was drank over 2 nights to see how it develops over time and whatnot. We have these nifty stopper/pour-er thingys that do a pretty good job of keeping me entertained (I’m rather easily amused, as it were).
It looks like wine..
Uh, like… red wine?
Wait, that’s not a question.
It looks like wine!
Okay, let me start over..
In the glass it’s a very deep dark purple; kind of inky and…
You know, the description of how a wine looks, to me, is kind of rather silly. Possibly a little redundant. I know it CAN be important. But is it always? Eh. Maybe in a couple years I’ll look back at Past-Me and say, “Man that guy was an idiot.” But for now, I’m gonna stick with this. It looks like red wine. (Also, I’m partially colorblind.) (Ed. note: Iain formally apologizes for that rant. Please forgive him.)
Well at least it smells good! And, seriously, it does. On day 1, first whiff brought lots of baking spices and brown sugar. A little cocoa and dark cherries with some greens barely peeking through. Toward the end of the glass a hint of cinnamon. Not too hot but you could definitely tell it is nearing 14%. Day 2 brought the heat a little more, but not unbearably so. Also, the green notes, which it turns out are more brambly with grasses and dead leaves, are more pronounced on the second day. The fruit grew overnight as well, with the spices and brown sugar taking a back seat. Enticing to say the least.
A few sips and it is pretty clear from both nights that this is a big wine with a small pricetag. Big brown sugar, dark cherries, a savory thing here or there (soy sauce almost), with the baking spices and cocoa at times. Day 2 followed the nose with the bigger fruits to balance the spices. Really really nice.
In the mouth, it feels silky smooth. Very lush and full, like a medium mouthfeel that’s a little too big for his britches. It’s funny because I didn’t realize how big a mouthfeel I was dealing with on Day 1 until I later drank another red that I knew to have a decent, medium body. Day 2 I’m feeling a little silly cause, damn if this isn’t a big wine. Not syrupy. Just full. And fun. Worth taking out to at least a dinner AND a movie on your next date.
The finish is pretty tidy as well. And I don’t mean tidy to mean short, just that it keeps the niceness moving along throughout the drink. Long but not unwelcomingly long. Day 1 was immediately drying with lingering cocoa and brown sugar. The only difference on day 2 is a little more fresh fruit and less drying.
Okay, I gotta say, honestly I wasn’t exactly excited about opening this up. It just happened to win the eenie-meenie-mieny-moe of the the night. Well I’m glad this is what I ultimately went with because it’s definitely worth picking up if you see it. Kind of a no brainer when you consider the fullness and complexity for the price.
See you next time folks!