Benegas Don Tiburcio 2009

Score: 91

Province: Mendoza

Grapes: 50% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot

Aging: 10 months in French oak

What a transformation – as it opens, the vegetal bouquet of eggplant and squash turns to black cherries and coffee. Then, in the mouth, there’s a velvet-smooth feel that makes the wine almost too easy to swallow. Hold it for a moment to appreciate the exotic fruit flavors of carambola and mangosteen, quite a rarity from an Argentine red, before the high alcohol content numbs your tongue. There’s lots to discover here, with the alcohol helping to prolong a finish that includes dark chili and chocolate. A steal!