Catena Appellation Agrelo Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Cabernet Sauvignon is Argentina’s under-the-radar vinous gem. Overshadowed by both the fame and planted acreage of signature Malbec, this variety literally gets to shine under the bright Mendocinian sun (Mendoza is Argentina’s best region for Cab Sauv).
The Catena Zapata family is one of the country’s most famous winemaking dynasties, currently in the 4th generation since founder Nicola Catena emigrated in 1898 from Italy’s Marche region. The current head of the family, Nicolas Catena, happens to have a preference for Cabernet Sauvignon above Malbec meaning this winery puts huge efforts into creating the best wines possible from this less famous Argentinean grape (their Malbecs are pretty darn tasty too!
The Agrelo Cabernet Sauvignon is from Catena Zapata’s premium ‘Appellation’ series which focuses on historic vineyards in classic winegrowing zones. In this instance, Agrelo is a renowned site for producing perfectly harmonious Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, expertly crafted into delicious wine at Catena’s nearby winery in Vista Flores.
The 2016 vintage is truly a beautiful expression of the variety, combining considerable elegance (only 13% alcohol) with a touch of classic Cabernet power and structure. There is wonderful core of dark berry fruits, fresh rather than jammy, combined with complexing notes of tobacco leaf, cedar, dark chocolate & sweet herbs. The finish is persistent and the whole package completely over delivers for the rather modest price tag. It is drinking great now and versatile at the table - I thoroughly enjoyed a bottle recently at Vancouver’s Nightingale restaurant where it paired perfectly with their bison sausages with bacon jam, braised pork cheek gnocchi and even the roasted delicata squash. Buy this before the secret gets out!
Available at Marquis Wine Cellars for $31.21