Quimera 2011 – Mendoza, Argentina

A deep, rich beauty that will make you fall in love with Argentina all over again, from one of her finest wine houses.  A blend of Bordeaux grapes that really shows off all the classic flavors:  dense vanilla and tobacco notes, red fruit and white pepper.  Well-structured with nice tannins that will hold her for years to come, but she’s ready to drink today if you’d like.  The French oak, in a mix of new and one year old, keeps the oak nice and mellow – not overpowering like many California and Washington wines.  I always trust Achaval Ferrer, but was nonetheless impressed by this offering.

  • Rating: Impressive
  • Name: Quimera 2011
  • Winery: Achaval Ferrer
  • Region: Mendoza
  • Country: Argentina
  • Varietals: 38% Malbec, 26% Cabernet Franc, 23% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot
  • Price: ~$32
  • Where to Buy: Connecticut Ave. Wine & Liquor
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Fabre Montmayou Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Selection 2009 – Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina

img_3531Dark cherry, cassis, and white pepper notes on the nose right out of the bottle. Rich, bold leather and balsamic notes, some creamy vanilla flavors on the front end with tight tannins bringing up the rear shutting it all down just before you get bowled over. This has been one of my favorites for a few years now and I’m working my way through the final few bottles of a case I’ve been nursing. An hour after the cork pops and after some of the 15% alcohol burns off it opens a bit further, the tannins combine with a creamy cocoa note and chewy leather. The nose takes on a faint greenness, like crushed flowers. It’s more common to run into this wine’s cousins by Fabre Montmayou – the Mendoza Malbecs are nice, but can’t quite keep up with this Rio Negro, Patagonia Cab. I believe this ran around $20-25/ bottle when I bought it. Attempts to find it in the myriad, noisy online wine resources (ya know, the reason why I started this blog in the first place) ran on several later vintages hovering in the $16/ bottle range.

  • Rating: Impressive
  • Name: Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Selection 2009 
  • Winery:Fabre Montmayou
  • Region: Rio Negro, Patagonia
  • Country: Argentina  
  • Varietals:Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Price: $20-$25
  • Where to Buy: d’Vines, 3103 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010