2015 Casarena Estate Red Blend
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Argentina is in a bit of a wine-revolution. Yes, they are still making those bold Malbecs we all love. But, whether for commercial or creative reasons, winemakers are exploring new lands, new grape varieties, and new winemaking techniques, oftentimes to extraordinary results.
Now here comes the counter-revolution.
The winery Casarena is forging a different path. While I love the “new” path of different varietals, wild winemaking, and exploring all kinds of different terroirs, Casarena is going back to its roots in Mendoza, specifically the valley of Lujan de Cuyo.
Ever since Napa Valley had its Cabernet revolution of the 1960s, Argentina has been competing at the same level. We don’t realize it here due to a lack of exports from Argentina. But winemakers like Nicolas Catena were actually visiting, and making wine, in Napa in the 1960s. They took this revolution back home to the Lujan de Cuyo. And even before that, Argentina was a major winemaking country producing prized Cabernet blends.
Casarena’s idea: Let’s look for the hidden gems at home in the Lujan de Cuyo, the place of rich tradition, old vineyards, and enormous potential. This “return home” has yielded an exceptional Cabernet blend:
This estate blend opens with a dark cherry nose that dips gently into aromas of fig and plum sauce. Cabernet is the dominate partner here, giving the finesse, elegance and structure you’d expect from a Napa wine. But there is also Malbec, lending a touch of savory roundness to the palate, making the wine more complete and harmonious note. The palate is smooth on the entry, delivering a firm and sophisticated fruit compliment, but also pulling through on the finish with vigor, cut and definition. It’s classy. At 13.5% alcohol, this wine is both engaging as a cocktail, but perfect opportunity to turn your home into a parrilla, wafting out aromas of grilled steak. And served generously enough to a significant other, maybe a little tango will follow.
The name “Casarena” is a creative merging of the Spanish words “casa” (house) and “arena” (sand), and is a tribute to their restored 1930s winery made of sand-colored stone and the sandy soil that their estate is built on. It is the symbol of their return to traditional, world-class Cabernet based red blends that Argentina was once famous for. And with this wine, will be again!