Monday, June 28, 2010

*** $ Colonia Las Liebres Hormigas Bonarda, 2007, Mendoza, Argentina - Wine Review and Rating

Find Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda at WineZap.

Original Review, May, 2009: The Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda from the Mendoza region of Argentina is among the least expensive red wines you can find in a bottle in the United States. We'll see in a moment whether it delivers bang for its small number of bucks, but in recent years Argentina has proven to be one of the best regions - along with Spain and Australia - to discover real good-quality bargains.
This Colonia is made entirely of the Bonarda grape - originally an Italian grape from Piedmont and the Oltrepo-Pavese region. A new vintage, this shows 13.5% alcohol.

Let's see what Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda delivers... In the glass, it is beefy, dark, purple-red - totally opaque in the middle. Upon swirling, you get a totally bulging, purple aroma - if you didn't know better, you would think you were sniffing cru beaujolais.

When you sip, though, this breaks in a totally different direction than beaujolais. It shows a husky, deep, almost rugged mid-mouth feel - chunky, ripe, black berry fruit, with light, mouth-cleansing tannins. Low acid, but lots of activity in the mouth. The finish pulls back a hint of the beaujolais purple grapiness, and adds a touch of alcohol. Rusty, rustic wine - intense, not for the faint of heart. Don't think elegant balance; think washing down stew.

Three stars out of five on this one, which - given its bedrock low price - makes it a best value.

Updated review, one year later, June, 2010:  Color is the same, but the aroma now is deeper and more beguiling... it has the chunky, ripeness that I described a year ago in the palate.  Now the mid-palate has gotten a bit less thick, seems redder than before in its fruit, still with potent alcohol.  A nice inky grapiness settles for the close.

Following long decant, one day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  aroma is more shy, and palate has gone thin and muted.  Long decant not advised.

Find Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda at WineZap.

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