Monday, February 20, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ $$ Festivo Malbec, 2004, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina - GOOD VALUE


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By way of background: Festivo, 2004, from the Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina, is a single-varietal malbec, aged for six months in new oak. Malbec is Argentina's signature wine, and Festivo is a well-regarded malbec in the value price range.

Original review, December, 2008:

In the glass, the Festivo shows as dark plum red, opaque at the center, migrating to a purple-tinged red at the very edge. Aromas hurtle from the glass as your swirl. They smell like blueberries and currants on fire, with mild overtones of an oil slick.

On the palate, a furry tannin robe is one of the first notable elements. Then the clean dark berry fruit rolls in over the tannins, like a calvary to the rescue. Blueberries and raspberries are there. Only a hint of smoke is apparent from the oak. A moderate length finish picks up on the acids a bit. Nicely balanced overall.

Three stars with a plus for even more age-ability.

Jay Miller of Wine Advocate was a fan of Festivo, awarded 91 points, and said: "The 2004 Festivo is dark crimson-colored with a fragrant nose of mineral, spice box, blueberry, and black cherry. Medium-bodied, it is plush on the palate with plenty of ripe, forward fruit, light tannin, and a sense of elegance. It can be enjoyed now and over the next 5 years. It is an outstanding value. Bodega Monteviejo, owned by Catherine Pere-Verge (also the proprietor of Pomerol's Le Gay), is located at the foothills of the Andes, next to Vista Flores, south of Mendoza. The globe-trotting Michel Rolland is in charge of winemaking."
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Updated review, over three years later,   February, 2012: Deep brick red in the glass.  Bold sweet blueberry oil candy on the nose - very reminiscent of the aroma from three years back. No furriness on the palate now.  Instead, a slick and sweet deep and rich red berry, showing just the slightest touch of oxidation - but just a touch.  The overall feel is one of blackberry compote and lounging in a bathrobe by a fire.  Quite soft and inviting.  Drink it up now, eight years from vintage date.   Excellent value. Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Sweet oily cherry nose with an oily palate moving just slightly over-the-top.  At this age, skip the decant.

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