Vina Cobos Cocodrilo Corte 2016
Deep red with violet tones. The nose displays aromas of blueberry, blackberry, chocolate and spice. Highly concentrated flavors and sweet, soft tannins give substantial body and structure to the palate.
Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 9% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A beautiful 2016 with fine tannins, currant, blackberry and hazelnut character. Medium-to-full body, tight and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Bordeaux blend. Cooler than the 2015. Drink in 2019.
This red blend is always Cabernet Sauvignon-based, and the 2016 Cocodrilo Corte also has 10% Malbec, 9% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc from Luján de Cuyo and Valle de Uco. It's the first vintage for quite some time to use the five varietals from Bordeaux. As in many of the blended wines, the percentage of grapes sourced from the Valle de Uco is increasing. In 2016 they also reduced the amount of new oak and started replacing some American oak barrels with French ones. The blend feels very balanced and integrated, with the oak neatly folded into the fruit, and it has a harmonious and balanced palate with fine tannins and a very tasty finish. This follows the path toward more freshness that I already sensed with the 2015 vintage. There is a step (or two) up in complexity and depth from the Felino line.
Corte, or blend, is a five-way cuvée of red Bordeaux grapes, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon. The smoky oak is comparatively assertive here, with flavours of mocha and chocolate, but there’s plenty of ripe, textured, dark berry fruit for balance. 2019-24. Alcohol: 14%
The wines of Vina Cobos are the result of a shared dream inspired by the passion of three winemakers: Paul Hobbs and Argentine parters Andrea Marchiori and Luis Barraud. Their founding aspiration: to produce a Malbec of power and elegance unequalled anywhere in the world. Tee inaugural 1999 vintage of Cobos Malbec received the highest score upon release for any Argentine wine and continues to garner some of the highest praise for any Malbec in the world. Through the years, Vina Cobos has expanded their family of wines, which continue to receive even greater accolades. Cobos, Bramare and Felino offer three tiers of exceptional Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, sourced from the estate Marchiori Vineyard and other select properties within Mendoza.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.