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Monday, March 15, 2010
Cruz Andina Malbec 2006
Dinner turned out very well, and my only regret was that I hadn’t come up with a reason to try the Cruz Andina sooner! It is unlike any other Malbec I’ve ever had, and it is absolutely one of the most enjoyable — right up there with Achaval-Ferrer’s Finca Altamira, though at a fifth of the price.
With the first sniff it’s evident that this wine has been treated to a generous amount of oak, and it has: Sixteen months in 100 percent French oak, 30 percent new. Tantalizing aromas of vanilla-tinged dark berries and spice box waft from the glass; the wine washes over the palate with creamy layers of mocha, dark fruits and melting tannins then gradually takes its leave with a long, satisfying finish.
This wine pushes all the right buttons for me. I’m a lover of new-world Bordeaux-style blends, and this is an old-vine, high-altitude Malbec blended with 10.5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, three percent Merlot and one and a half percent Bonarda. That’s not exactly a classic blend, but it sure works!
And no wonder. Cruz Andina is a collaboration between Veramonte, one of Argentina’s oldest wine families, legendary Chilean vintner Agustin Huneeus (think Quintessa), Carlos Pulenta, a third generation Mendoza vintner, and Chilean winemaker Alvaro Espinoza, who gets most of the credit for helping to sort out that country’s Carménère-Merlot mixup. The result is a spectacular wine with roots on both sides of the Andes — and at $19, one you can afford to not miss.
J. Silverheels Gray, 5:21 PM
Hi, thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. Finally you got the good reason for enjoying.