I did not know that the fifth largest wine producing country in the world (not including Russia), Argentina could boast what I can only call (but still cannot make up my mind yet) a Legendary (the meaning seems to have changed so much in the last decades) or an Iconic RED wine.
Indeed the famous, almost impossible to find, Estiba Reservada (Cab/Sauv) from the Catena Zapata people has held the trophy now for some years. Their first vintage of this one goes back to 1990 and seems to create a buzz wherever the name is mentioned, but seriously only amongst connoisseurs of such obscure vinouscity.
However, there is a contender & this bulkhaut of a wine that was presented last weekend at the table, seriously threw the gauge into positive RED territory. As a side note before the woful goes on. The 10th of December 2016 was the day to celebrate Terra Madre SLOW food style, www.slowfood.com/terra-madre-salone-del-gusto-2016-steps-outside/ … and what better way to have done this than have my first taste of…
What was it?
1977 (yes you are reading the vintage correctly) Malbec Estrella from Cavas Weinert, in Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza.
Once the cork was popped, I was expecting some musty old, tired, undrinkable mess. Alas, and my goodness it is hard these days to be surprised by wines (as any wine freak will tell you, part of the game of enjoying wine is purely to be surprised, and positively, hopefully so) but this one through me back all the way to the top of Aconcagua.
Intense clear dark red with classic warm, orange hew (mature) edges. Not a hint of oxidation on the nose, only figgy, black cherry/currants aswell, plums the list goes on. Supported by a warm slightly spicy, dark chocolate back bone.
The length on the palate is sublime. Not too long and not too short, Super balance, with almost a hint of truffle and a finish that could put some modern day big Bordeaux to shame. What a wonderful surprise, and of course all accompanied with a juicy beef (a la Hurlingham) fresh spinach, and two portions of papa-pie.