Salentein Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina, 2012, 14.5% abv

salenteinArgentina’s vineyards are some of the highest in the world – most start at about 600m and can go as high as 1,600m. Almost all of them are on the country’s western strip bordering the Andes mountains toward Chile and extend from the Tropic of Capricorn in the north to the 40th parallel in the south.

This wine is from the well-regarded Valle de Uco – south of Mendoza city and part of Mendoza province.

The combination of plentiful Andes water, elevation for acidity, alluvial and easy-to-drain soils, and 250+ sunny days per year produce a perfect storm of conditions for excellent, concentrated fruit that in turn make high quality wines.

Grown at an average of 1,200m (that’s the height of Grouse Mountain!), this wine from Bodegas Salentein and was brought back from a recent trip to the region by a friend.

It’s an atypical tasting Cabernet Sauvignon – no herbaceous green pepper or brooding black fruit here, save the blackcurrant.   In fact, it’s a little unusual to have a Cab Sav produced here – the region’s top four grapes are Semillon, Malbec, Bonarda and Barbera and formerly, the region produced mostly jug wines from Cereza and Criolla Grande.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is clear and bright, medium plus ruby with legs.  The nose is youthful, vibrant and clean with medium plus aromas of red fruit (raspberry, ripe strawberry and pomegranate), some blackcurrant, clove and sweet tobacco.

The palate is dry with medium plus dusty tannins, medium plus acidity, medium plus alcohol and medium flavours of tobacco, more red fruit (strawberry, pomegranate and raspberries), more blackcurrant and tobacco with a medium plus long finish.

Light and juicy, balanced and beautifully perfumed – WSET ‘Very Good’.  Drink now or hold 3-5 for further development.

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