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Huarpe Terroir Agrelo Red Blend 2010

huarpeterroiragreloredblend2010Score: 90

Province: MendozaHuarpe Terroir Agrelo Red Blend 2010

Subregion: Agrelo

Grapes: 80% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging: 14 months in new French oak

What malbec-cabernet blends are supposed to be. It’s denser than its appearance might suggest – the reddish tinges come from the cabernet, of course – but the oceans of black currant and blackberry jam are a delight. There’s a lengthy finish where those fruit continue with no bitterness – deeply satisfying all along.

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Make Way for Tannat

diegovalsecchiUnless you've spent a long time studying wine, you may not even have heard of the grape called tannat. It comes from southwest France, and it's most popular in, of all places, Uruguay. But the tannats coming out of Argentina - particularly Salta in the north - are nothing like their acrid, Uruguayan cousins.

Tannat has a long history in Argentina, and some of the oldest and highest-altitude vines in Salta are tannat. As its name suggests, tannat can have a stronger concentration of tannins than other reds. It's known mostly as a blending grape, a role it often takes in Cahors, which is appropriately the epicenter of malbec in France.

Malbec-tannat is a popular blend in Uruguay, but the astringency of Uruguayan grapes can be offputting for unaccustomed drinkers. Fortunately, it's not a problem in the Argentine strains. In fact, Argentine tannat varietals are among the juiciest wines we've tasted.

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I've just seen a #malbec review that said, "Chewy yet offers a bright austerity." Can you guess the reviewer or the wine (without googling)?

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