2010 Casarena Reserva Sinergy Blend Mendoza
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Casarena Vineyards The 92pt Makeup

Last Tuesday, we told the story of the Michel Rolland-inspired 2011 Casarena Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, drawn from an 82-year-old patch set high in the foothills of the Andes, in the center cut of prized Lujan de Cujo. We spoke of the Caserena importer's brazen marketing plan that called for showing the wine first to the stingiest critic on the planet, betting a bundle on the review from the guy 'at 82nd and Lex.' It was a good story. Maybe too good.

Stephen Tanzer said the Casarena Reserve "could challenge Cabernets from Napa Valley at three times the price," dropping the highest score in five years for an under-$20 red wine. We're still not sure if it was that 92pt rave or our twisted plot line that set the WineAccess scoreboard reeling. By 11am, we knew we were in trouble.

As you know, our emails arrive in your inbox every day right around 10am -- regardless of where you live. When we hit the SEND button on the East Coast, much of the West Coast membership has yet to wake up. Most of the time that's not a problem. But on Tuesday, it was.

By 11am, when Midwesterners received our story, 58% of our Casarena Reserve allocation was gone. By 1, as we prepared to send the West, just 25 cases remained. That's when we pulled the plug -- and why most of the West Coast membership never heard about Stephen Tanzer's greatest red wine bargain since 2007.

On Wednesday morning, we called the importer to give him the good news. The entire American allocation of the 92pt Casarena Reserve had vaporized on WineAccess in less than a day. He was buoyant, his eyes spinning like a one arm bandit. We kept up the small talk for ten more minutes. Then we dropped the bomb he never saw coming.

Casarena's tete-de-cuvee is a tiny bottling of an old-vine blend called Sinergy. Master-blended by Michel Rolland, the 2010 Casarena Sinergy is a gushing black-fruit blend of 70% Malbec, 20% (82-year-old-vine) Cabernet Sauvignon, buttressed with a muscular dollop of powerhouse Petit Verdot. Steve Tanzer never got his hands on the 2010 Casarena Sinergy. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said of us.

This is a payback. On our scoreboard, the 2010 Casarena Sinergy outpoints the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, explaining the loftier $28 price tag. At least it did before we told our importer 'friend' what we wanted him to do to 'make things right.'

Tasting Notes

2010 Casarena Reserva Sinergy Blend Mendoza
"Purple/black to the edge. Lavish aromas of blackberry and boysenberry preserves, laced with mocha. Beautifully chiseled on the attack, packed with crushed black fruits and wild cherry, silken in texture, still bracketed by the textbook ripe tannins that so distinguish the reds of the world's most celebrated Flying Winemaker. Drink now-2017."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

By law, wine may ONLY be shipped to the following states: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY.