Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: ***+ $ Maipe Cabernet Sauvignon (Andean Culture), Mendoza, Argentina, 2010 - BEST VALUE

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By way of background, opening thoughts: When you say, "Mendoza", I think "malbec".  Cabernet sauvignon is no slouch from that area either, however.  Today we are trying a value-priced Mendoza, Argentina cabernet sauvignon, produced in the foothills of the Andes Mountains from grapes grown some 3,000 feet above sea level. 

Original tasting and review : This is Maipe Cabernet Sauvignon (Andean Culture), Mendoza, Argentina, 2010, finished at 14.% alcohol.

In the glass: Maipe Andean Culture is almost jet black magenta, with just a scant quarter inch showing light at the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows soft, lightly oaked with deep cassis and plum fruit in reserve.  From the aroma, seems like this will be restrained but potentially powerful.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sweet, sandy and nicely tannic in the mid-palate, bringing balanced, playful dark cassis fruit in a solid tannic wardrobe.  The fruit opens more to the nose with just a few more moments in the glass, and it spreads along the palate too.  Finish is juicy, moderate length and clean.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for balanced power. Best value.

Following decant, almost two hours in flat-bottomed decanter:  Still soft fruit on the nose.  Remains balanced, rich and playful.  Strong. And longer decant, overnight in partially filled bottle: Nose still subtle and soft.  Flavors meld very nicely now. 

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