2016 Achaval-Ferrer Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza (Previously $28)

SKU #1338103 92 points James Suckling

 Fragrant redcurrants, rose petals, paprika and spice box. Medium to full body, lots of red fruit, firm tannins and a dark-chocolate finish. Drink now.  (4/2018)

Vinous

 Bright medium red-ruby. Cool aromas of redcurrant, cherry, menthol, licorice and herbs convey an impression of moderate ripeness. Suave and fine-grained but a tad shallow and green for this bottling. Still quite stylish and nicely delineated but falls off a bit on the back end, which features slightly dusty tannins and a repeating herbal note. Seems less ripe than the 2017 Malbec, but then the mostly late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon struggled in much of Mendoza in 2016. I'd certainly give this wine another year in the cellar--but does it have the stuffing to improve? Drink 2019-2024. (ST)  (7/2018)

K&L Notes

Where can one find mountain-grown Cabernet for a great price? In Mendoza, Argentina, where Achaval Ferrer sources its fruit from mineral-rich mountain soils, resulting in nuanced and beautifully balanced flavors. Bordeaux estates have their eyes on Mendoza. The conditions and Cabernet-friendly climate have shown tremendous and cost-effective results, as evident here in this 2016 Achaval Ferrer Cab, with juicy black fruits, hints of earth and tobacco, and a full-bodied finish. We’d be hard pressed to find a Cabernet this polished and profound at this price locally. Ferrer is a widely respected red wine producer, known for its old-school approach to new-world winemaking. Their wines are textbook in style and varietally correct, as is clear from the first sip of the 2016 Cabernet.


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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5