Uco Valley, Mendoza
Wine from Argentina has long been associated with Malbec. And, while a lot of them are affordable and taste great, that is not where your exploration of Argentinean wine should end! The Uco Valley is located to the west of the Tunuyán River. While this valley is a desert, the native Huarpe people created canals to bring water from the mountains and its rivers to the flat, fertile land in Mendoza in order to cultivate their own crops. When the Spanish missionaries arrived, they were able to use the ancient waterways to cultivate vines. The climate, soils, altitude, and winemaking talent has made the Uco Valley the most exciting wine region in Argentina, sometimes called "Napa of the South". There is world class terroir in this valley. The valley can make fresh, mineral-driven, high-energy wines, totally different from the stereotypical wines people associate with Argentina. The Uco Valley wine region is but two decades old and the winemakers are just now beginning to understand and take advantage of the diverse terroir. This wine should be served at 18 C and can be cellared from now to 2023.
This Cabernet is powerful on the nose, with notes of dark cherry, blackberry, ripe plum, and cassis. Also present are red spices like paprika, jalapeño, and tomato leaf, complemented by black pepper, sweet spices, and liquorice, with some clove and cacao notes.
The characteristics found on the nose flow through to the palate. The snappy and lively ripe black fruit really shines here - blackberry, black cherry, and some prune along with some oaky vanilla, which is pretty common for the Uco Valley. The mature and soft tannins are round with a healthy acidity. Concentrated, balanced, and full-flavoured, it displays both elegance and freshness. The finish has some length and is firm and dry.
Braised short ribs or seared lamb chops, with some grilled vegetables would be ideal. Cheeses like brie or Manchego would also work well.