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Vina Cobos Felino Merlot 2011

Merlot from Argentina
    14.9% ABV
    • RP90
    All Vintages
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    14.9% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    This black-ruby hued offering embodies pure vibrant merlot character at its best. Greeting the nose with pure, ripe Bing cherry and blackberry aromas, it comes alive on the satiny palate; well-structured, lively berry flavors, spicy accents and a touch of cedar open to a memorable finish punctuated with clean minerality.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Vina Cobos

    Vina Cobos

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    Vina Cobos, Argentina
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    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. The 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.

    Argentina

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    Stretching from the Andes to Patagonia, Argentina's unique terroir lends to high quality wines. Formerly associated with inexpensive bulk wine but dramatically shifting focus from quantity to quality, Argentina is the most important wine-producing country in South America. Certainly excellent values abound here still, but increases in vineyard investment, improved winery technology, and a commitment to innovation since the late 20th century have 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 can be used to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

    Mendoza, a large and famous region responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. 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.

    An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

    In the Glass

    Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

    Perfect Pairings

    Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

    CHMPHC3101011_2011 Item# 118707