New reviews of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from Mendoza
and Patagonia, priced $25 and under
Photo by: Courtesy of Dominio del Plata
Dominio del Plata sits at the foot of the Andes Mountains.
Posted: September 21, 2017
Tasting Highlights’ wine reviews are fresh out of the tasting room, offering a sneak-peek of our
editors’ most recent scores and notes to WineSpectator.com members.
Malbec dominates Argentina’s top releases, but the country makes a range of other varietals as
well, including Cabernet Sauvignon. Argentina’s Cabernet Sauvignons are powerful and dense
expressions of the grape that are beginning to compete well on the world stage, Mlled with dark
fruit and spice components.
The top Cabernet on this list, from Finca Decero, hails from the Agrelo subappellation of
Mendoza. The 400-acre Remolinos vineyard is situated at 3,500 feet above sea level, at the base
of the Andes Mountains, where cool winds sweeping down from the mountains promote vibrant
acidity in the wine.
Another solid Cabernet value hails from the Alta Vista estate, which covers 200 acres south of
the city of Mendoza. Fincas Patagonicas and Dominio del Plata made excellent Malbec values in
2015. The Plata winery was founded in 1999 by Susana Balbo, one of Argentina’s best
winemakers, who remains at the top of her game with this release and others.
Argentina also makes noteworthy Chardonnay. Picks from Bodega Aniello and Los Haroldos
have among the friendliest price points of today’s selection. Overall, these wines retail for $25
FINCAS PATAGONICAS Malbec Mendoza Tapiz Alta Collection 2015 Score: 91 | $20
Explosively fruity, this is redolent of blackberry compote, with notes of dried blackberry and dark
currant. Fresh and juicy on the intensely spicy Mnish. Drink now through 2021. 2,500 cases
DOMINIO DEL PLATA Malbec Uco Valley Susana Balbo Signature 2015 Score: 91 | $25
Big and rich, with balanced and well-structured \avors of raspberry, dark plum and currant that
feature plenty of reMned savory accents. Hints of mineral and smoke show on the Mnish. Drink
now through 2021. 4,500 cases imported.—K.M.
BODEGA ANIELLO Chardonnay Río Negro 006 Riverside Estate 2016 Score: 90 | $17
Honeyed notes abound in this steely white, which features \avors of ripe apple, blood orange
and pear tart. The lush Mnish has accents of allspice. Drink now through 2021. 100 cases
FINCA DECERO Cabernet Sauvignon Agrelo Remolinos Vineyard 2014 Score: 90 | $22
Dense, offering chiseled \avors of dark plum, dried berry and dark chocolate. Notes of dried
green herbs and spice extend on the zesty Mnish. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases
KAIKEN Malbec Mendoza Ultra Las Rocas 2015 Score: 90 | $20
Dense and rich-tasting, with a muscular mix of dark currant and black olive \avors that are
supported by Mrm tannins. Cocoa powder and slate notes Mll the Mnish, along with peppery hints.
Drink now through 2022. 8,000 cases imported.—K.M.
BODEGA MENDEL Malbec Mendoza 2015 Score: 90 | $25
A racy style, with densely packed \avors of dark currant, kirsch and Christmas pudding that are
\anked by concentrated dark chocolate notes. Asian spice and smoke details Mll the Mnish. Drink
now through 2022. 2,000 cases imported.—K.M.
LOS HAROLDOS Chardonnay Mendoza 2015 Score: 89 | $12
This is loaded with white peach and pear \avors that are crisp and fresh-tasting. The lilting Mnish
offers a seductive spiciness and rich minerality. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases
FINCAS PATAGONICAS Malbec Mendoza Zolo Reserve 2015 Score: 89 | $19
This is loaded with densely textured blueberry, blackberry and dark currant \avors, supported by
\eshy tannins. The Mnish is Mlled with black licorice notes and hints of pepper. Drink now through
2021. 2,600 cases imported.—K.M.
ALTA VISTA Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza Estate 2015 Score: 88 | $20
A \eshy style, with good concentration to the dark currant and green olive \avors, backed by
fresh acidity. Red currant accents on the Mnish. Drink now through 2019. 1,000 cases
BODEGA DIAMANDES Malbec Uco Valley 2014 Score: 88 | $18
Dark chocolate and Asian spice \avors give this an exotic allure. Christmas pudding notes linger
on the rich, creamy Mnish. Drink now through 2020. 3,000 cases imported.—K.M.
FINCAS PATAGONICAS Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza Tapiz Alta Collection 2015 Score: 88 | $20
Concentrated dark cherry, plum and blackberry \avors are Mlled with rich chocolate and spice
notes. Hints of cedar and cigar box on the Mnish. Drink now through 2020. 1,500 cases
RICARDO SANTOS Malbec Mendoza La Madras Vineyard 2016 Score: 88 | $20
Lots of beetroot, dark plum and raspberry \avors are accented by hot stone and savory spice.
The juicy Mnish turns creamy. Drink now. 2,000 cases imported.—K.M.
LAMADRID Cabernet Sauvignon Agrelo 2016 Score: 87 | $15
A supple and savory style, with fresh red fruit and spice \avors supported by medium-grained
tannins. Green herbal notes on the Mnish. Drink now. 2,000 cases imported.—K.M.
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