BenMarco Expresivo 2008
Other Red Blends from Argentina, South America
Wafting aromas of ripe red currants, black cherries and mildly smoky and sweet vanilla oak. Layers of currant fruit, dense black cherry, and notes of brown spice (cocoa, nutmeg), dark chocolate, and hints of sandalwood. Keeps showing its stuff as it breathes in the glass—for folks who want the full experience and may be a bit impatient, decanting is a good idea. Perfect balance, great concentration and length, and loaded with fine, ripe tannins for having with food or for aging. This wine should also age beautifully for 10-25 years. Pairs well with a wide range of foods including grilled steak, roasted pork loin, veal, medium-strong cheeses, and most cream sauces.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 BenMarco Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 BenMarco Malbec were reviewed favorably in the Argentina Value report in the previous on-line issue. Made by the Godmother of Argentina Torrontes, Susana Balbo, the 2008 BenMarco Expresivo is a blend of 50% Malbec, 20% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Tannat and Petit Verdot aged for 14 months in new French and American oak. Dark ruby red in color, it displays an already complex bouquet of wood smoke, Asian spices, incense, and assorted black fruits. On the palate it is supple-textured, rich, and plush with no hard edges. There is a bit of underlying tannin in this lengthy effort which is likely to evolve for several more years. It will provide a drinking window extending from 2012 to 2023. "
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby. Deep, sexy aromas of currant, coffee bean, mocha, game and truffle. Lush and smooth in the mouth, with lovely definition and a light touch to its smoky black raspberry flavor. Finishes with suave, fine-grained, integrated tannins and very good subtle persistence."
Wine Spectator - "Very ripe for the vintage, boasting impressive layers of raspberry, red and black currant, cherry and licorice that weave through, carried by graphite, spice and floral notes. Bright acidity is well-buried, allowing the finish to stretch out. Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2011. 500 cases imported."
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In 1999 Susana Balbo crafted a line of wines to showcase the ripe fruit expression of her sustainably-farmed Mendoza vineyards. The philosophy is a simple one: grow great grapes and make wines that are true to their place. Minimal intervention during the growing season and through harvest allows the true fruit character to develop. Combine this with Susana's winemaking skills and the result is wines that express the powerful fruit flavors, the ripe tannins and the incredible length and balance that can only come from this one place: Mendoza. View all BenMarco Wines
About ArgentinaView a map of Argentina wineries (ahr-jen-TEE-nah)
Notable FactsUnlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.