BenMarco 2016: Yes, Please!
I am loving the lower alcohols coming out of all peaks and crevices of Mendoza today. The wines were always delicious to taste, and now they are becoming more and more drinkable. This trio from Dominio del Plata’s BenMarco line provides a good set of examples. No wine exceeds 13.5% abv, and their freshness levels are exhilarating.
Malbec Valle de Uco 2016 13% $20
Appropriately deep in color, this vibrant wine smells like the richly fruited core of a summer cobbler made of freshly plucked blackberries. It’s sheer delight on the palate between its mouthwatering acidity and its creamy tannins. A wee chocolate tone is followed by an earthiness creeping in on the moderate finish. Caution: the first glass will likely provoke the second!
Cabernet Sauvignon Valle de Uco 2016 13.5% $20
It’s easy to spot this as Cabernet Sauvignon in the glass thanks to its core of black currants coupled with chiseled acidity. It’s just hard to believe this is Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s so enticingly fresh! Plumped with black currants and black plum skin with a dazzling array of evergreen freshness, this is impressively balanced in flavor while showing super subtle oak…was that a drop of mocha or am I imagining it? The medium body closes in on the finish with pleasantly zippy grip.
P.S. On Day Two, this drinks as vibrantly on the first day. The only difference is slightly less grip along the jaw line, making it even easier to sip!
Espresivo Valle de Uco 2016 13.5% $35
This blend is a dynamic expression of two of Argentina’s most interesting grape varieties. It’s 75% Malbec & 25% Cabernet Franc. One is known world-round for its Mendoza provenance and the other should be! The Malbec offers black cherry and soil-driven tones while the Cabernet Franc introduces evergreen freshness and a buoyant, vibrant acidity-driven palate. The tannins are pithily dry but entirely in-line and pleasant in the face of the boisterous fruit. The finish offers a very pleasant palate extension with an emphasis on the generously plump fruit. It’s astonishing that this wines sees exclusively new French oak. It barely shows.