2014 Benmarco "Expresivo" Red Blend Valle de Uco

SKU #1288409 96 points James Suckling

 This is great wine with fabulous transparency and clarity showing blackberry, blueberry and floral character. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a superb finish. 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet Franc. A wine that gives pleasure now but will be even better in 2020.  (5/2016)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The one blended wine in the BenMarco line that I tasted was the 2014 BenMarco Expresivo, in this case it's 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet Franc from Gualtallary, from a young vineyard that gives low yields. The fermentation was completely natural, without any added yeasts, and the élevage was extended to 14 months, also in used French oak barrels. There is more influence from the élevage here, with some smoky, toasty and spicy notes over the core of violets, cherries and just a tiny herbal twist. The palate shows some abundant fine-grained tannins that point at the need to give it some more time in bottle and enjoy it with some hearty food. (LG)  (12/2016)

90 points Vinous

 Bright medium ruby. Blackberry, bitter chocolate and violet aromas showcase the wine's sizable Cabernet Franc component. Sweet, spicy and fine-grained, with cassis and blackberry fruit flavors complicated by spices, smoky oak and dusty herbs. A very complex blend, showing much more new oak than the two varietal bottlings. The wine's lovely fruit- and spice-driven sweetness gives it early appeal in spite of its firm tannic structure. This wine was fermented in a combination of cement eggs, open-top wood fermenters, 5,000-liter cubes and 500-liter barrels. Finishes with firm, very fine-grained tannins, a suggestion of licorice and excellent length. These BenMarco 2014s show the greater tension of calcaire wines, plus a slightly herbal quality from the 2014 vintage. Incidentally, Susana Balbo has a long-term lease for this fruit; she pays by surface rather than tonnage, which is still rare in Argentina, and leaves a lower crop level. (ST)  (3/2016)

K&L Notes

Dominio del Plata, the winery which produces Crios and Susana Balbo's eponymous bottlings, also produces Benmarco, wines which are the vision of head winemaker and viticulturist Edy del Popolo. We've met Edy, and can tell you that, besides being an engaging, thoughtful, passionate and very likeable wine guy, he knows his stuff, and the proof is in this bottle! Featuring Malbec and Cabernet Franc grown in the chalky soils of the Uco Valley's Gualtallary district, this wine has loads of sumptuous dark fruit, and sees its fair share of new oak. The quality of the fruit and terroir shines through, though, and as a result this rich, generous, full-bodied red does not seem outsized or overmatched by oak. It's as much a tribute to Edy as it is to the quality of terroir in the Uco Valley.

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Price: $29.99

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Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/18/2017 | Send Email
Benmarco head winemaker and viticultorist Edy del Popolo is a rare talent, someone who not only knows his region (the Uco Valley, Argentina) and its great terroirs, but viticulture, winemaking, and the increasingly diverse world of fine wines as well. What makes this Malbec and Cabernet Franc blend so special is the calcareous terroir in Gualtallary, the juicy, rich mixed berry fruited mid palate, and the sense of freshness towards the finish. Richness with a sense of balance. If you're a fan of California's higher end, mixed red blends, you should absolutely try this wine and see what you've been missing in Argentina's Valle de Uco. And if you're already keen on Malbec, then this is a must try.

Staff Image By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/12/2017 | Send Email
Deep, rich and powerful, this is a Malbec/Cab Franc blend for those who love big and bold styles. A generous use of oak adds a good amount of sweet spice and mocha notes to the naturally soft black fruit of the wine. The tannins are restrained, though present enough to work well with a good cut of meat. Excellent expression of the richer, bolder style of Uco Valley wines.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Malbec

- These days if you're drinking a Malbec it's probably from Argentina. The most planted grape in that country, varietally-labeled Argentine Malbecs are one of the wine market's great values, prized for their slight herbal component and dark, luscious fruit. Structurally, Argentina's Malbecs are much different than those grown in the grape's native France; they are riper, fruitier and fleshier. In France, the best iterations of Malbec can be found in the Cahors, where it can be quite decadent. It is also planted in the Loire Valley, where it is called Côt and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Gamay, and in Bordeaux, where it has fallen from favor in many of the region's great blends because it is difficult to grow. In the United States, the varietal is frequently added to Meritage wines - Bordeaux style blends - but it is rarely found on its own.
Country:

Argentina

- Argentina is regarded as one of the most dynamic wine-producing nations in the world, and possibly the most important wine-producing region in South America. Only four countries in the world produce more wine than Argentina. Considerable investments (much of which has come from famous French, Italian and California wine producers) have been made in new vineyards and winemaking technology in the past several years, which along with recent plantings of more premium varieties of grapes, has made Argentina much more competitive internationally. The Mendoza region is the most important region in Argentina's wine industry. And Malbec, among other Bordeaux varietals grown here, reigns supreme. Click for a list of bestselling items from Argentina.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5