2012 Casarena Malbec Reserva Mendoza
Expert Rating
ST 91 points
(Read the full review below)
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Winemaker Bernardo Bossi Bonilla Argentina: Up The Creek Without a Paddle?

Last May, The Wall Street Journal published a story entitled "Argentina's Inflation Dilemma." The first paragraphs read:

"Argentina's courts, in a welcome moment of sanity, have overruled attempts by Argentina's government to prevent anyone who isn't the government from publishing a figure for inflation that isn't what the government says it is."

That's how a post from Quartz put the Monday ruling to overturn heavy fines that the government of President Cristina Kirchner had slapped on economists who published their own inflation data, which the government criticized as "inaccurate."

Why was President Kirchner so worked up? The Argentine government claimed that inflation was running between 10-11 percent. But the Argentine and American economists were coming in closer to 30 percent!

If you've continued reading the WSJ, you're no doubt aware that things in Buenos Aires have gone from bad to worse!

As the Argentine government leads the country ever closer to the financial abyss, most of the wine producers of Mendoza find themselves up the creek without a paddle. If nothing changes, in our opinion, most will be shut their doors in the next 12-24 months.

Only a few seem to have the wherewithal not only to survive, but to continue to push the envelope in the vines and the cellar. None more so than superstar Casarena.

Alejandro Sejanovich, the former vineyard manager for Catena who now tends the old vines of Casarena, describes the 2012 vintage in Altamira as one of the most spectacular of his career, giving birth to this supple Malbec Reserve that would feel perfectly at home on Silverado Trail or Highway 29.

The 2012 Casarena Malbec Reserve is brilliant purple/black to the rim, infused with sumptuous aromas of mountain blueberry preserves and licorice, sweetly framed by new-wood cedar. Big, plush and silken on the attack, cloaked in black-fruit velour, all the natural opulence of 2012 is bracketed by sturdy tannin backbone. Drink now-or like all the great Casarena Malbecs, lay this powerhouse 2012 down for 5-8 years in a cool cellar.

Tasting Notes

2012 Casarena Malbec Reserva Mendoza
"(aged in one-third new Taransaud oak): Good deep red. Blueberry, strawberry, licorice, mocha, minerals and spicy oak on the captivating nose, along with a touch of peach pit. Tactile, plush and saline, with the exotic peach element carrying through on the very ripe palate. Nicely integrated, juicy acidity gives shape to the wine and extends the finish. Showed a distinctly oily, extract-rich texture with air. This is very good."
91 points -- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar


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