Walking through my local Wegmans, which if you do not know is one of the best grocery stores on earth, I was stopped by a lady offering wine tastings. Like Total Wine, Wegmans serves their wine tastings out of the sophisticated plastic miniature cups. These cups are so small that a lid to a mouthwash would be an upgrade. I realize that most people who are tasting wine are probably going, “free booze!” But really there is no other option? I wish you could pay $1 for the tasting to get a glass that they can rewash. But I digress.
The last on their tasting list of the day was the 2011 Amancaya Gran Reserve, which is a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a joint venture with the famous wine producer Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite). This is supposed to be a balance of the bordeaux and Argentinian styles of wine. This is what their website states:
70% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
The mild, dry spring was particularly favourable for the bud break; there was, however, some damage in the vineyard from a late frost at the beginning of November. December and January were hot, with normal temperatures for the season and not much rain. February began with very dry weather but then some rain in early March provided relief from the high temperatures and parched conditions.
From then onwards, until the harvest in April, temperatures were fairly cool with very occasional rain. This favoured the ripening of the grapes which developed great aromatic intensity and a fine balance between acidity, tannic maturity and sugar content.
Tasting notes (at bottling):
Deep crimson colour.
The nose presents aromas of red and black fruit, with redcurrants and plums, and a little mint and cedar. The bouquet fills out with notes of vanilla, spices and mocha from the French oak.
On the palate, the tannic texture is pleasant and well balanced. The tannins are refined and gentle. There is a pleasant sensation of softness in the mouth.
This is a deep, flavourful wine which can be drunk now but which will reveal more of its character in three to five years.
So how did it compare?
Color – Deep dark almost inky purple
Nose – Black pepper, a hint of Vanilla and Plum.
Taste – Very acidic and tannic. You do get some dried plum flavors and a little bit of leather almost.
Finish – Lingers in the checks long and flavor goes on forever.
Overall, I know it probably looks like I am copying the above, this wine needs some aging. It is good now but it really has a chance to really open up. I bought another bottle just to do that. I think a lot of people will be turned off at first sip.