Sun 2 Sep 2012
Maintaining the theme of cabernet sauvignon, instigated by last Thursday’s World Cabernet Day, I offer as the Wine of the Week an inexpensive crowd-pleaser from Argentina.
The Graffigna Centenario Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 comes from a winery founded in 1870 in what is now Argentina’s state of San Juan by Italian immigrant Santiago Graffigna. San Juan is the country’s second largest producer of wine, after Mendoza, which lies just to the south. The vineyards of both regions thrive in the fairly arid altitudes of the Andean foothills. The family sold the estate in 1980 to Allied Domecq, which in turn was acquired by Pernod Ricard. Winemaker for Graffigna is Gerardo Danitz. At four years old, the Graffigna Centenario Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, which aged 12 months in 85 percent French oak barrels and 15 percent America, has shed the initial hard edge of its tannins and become something altogether softer, plusher and more approachable. The first impression is a wafting of fresh wild black raspberries couched with black currants and blueberries, cloves and sandalwood, with hints of cedar and thyme and spicy wood. The wine is smooth and polished in the mouth, luscious in its battery of ripe black and blue fruit flavors but held to rigorous deportment by vibrant acidity, mildly robust tannins and a tinge of graphite and bitter chocolate. 14 percent alcohol. Though the current release of this wine is 2010, the Internet reveals plenty of this eminently drinkable ’08 in the pipeline. Very Good+. If you pay more than $15, you wuz robbed; I’ve seen it as low as $10.
Imported by Pernod Ricard USA, Purchase, NY. A sample for review.