Pulenta Gran Cabernet Franc XI 2017
Pulenta Gran wines are the result of a distinctive winemaking style based on the combination of handwork and technology. The grapes come from select vineyard blocks from their Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de Uco vineyard locations.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Complex aromas of blackcurrants, iodine, dried citrus and lemon-tree leaf. Full body. Creamy, fine tannins give a lovely texture and mouth feel. Drinkable now, but better in 2022.
The varietal, spicy and peppery 2017 Gran Cabernet Franc was very elegant and fresh, fresher than the 2016 I also sampled next to it. It's medium to full-bodied with moderate ripeness and very fine tannins. The oak feels very integrated after one year in barrel.
The Pulenta family has been a prominent and respected force in Argentine viticulture for three generations. Sons of well-known winegrower Antonio Pulenta, and descendants of Italian immigrants, Eduardo and Hugo Pulenta founded Pulenta Estate in 2002. The vineyards are estate-owned and farmed for high quality and limited yields. Their extensive holdings in the Agrelo area of Lujan de Cuyo have allowed them to create a broad portfolio that includes sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, chardonnay and malbec rose; merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and cabernet sauvignon in several tiers and even a late harvest red blend.
With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.
Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.
Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white.
The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.
Cabernet Franc, a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets. Today Cabernet Franc produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine-producing world. Somm Secret—One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.