What To Drink Now: South American Reds

If barbecuing is the order of business of the day, enjoy the perfect pairing with one of these bold reds from South America. Each is ideal to pair with your favorite brisket, ribeye, or even grilled portobello with fresh chimichurri. #Cheers

With humble beginnings similar to many of Argentina’s beloved wineries, Nicola Catena began Catena Zapata in 1902 in the limestone soils of the high elevation foothills of the Andes Mountains of Argentina. But it was his grandson, third-generation winemaker, Nicolás Catena who helped take  Argentinian wine into the modern era after his exposure in the 1970s to great Bordeaux and the huge promise of Napa wines. He knew Argentina could produce world-class wines focusing on quality instead of quantity. From the vineyards of La Consulta in the San Carlos district within the southern Uco Valley, sitting at an elevation of 3600 feet, Catena Appellation La Consulta Malbec 2018 melds ripe, fleshy red fruits with crushed stone minerality. With very hot days ripening fruit throughout the summer, shifting to consistently cool evenings, capturing acidity in the fruit, the well-rounded wine is textured and balanced, with classic notes of Morello cherry, blackberry, raspberry, floral lavender and violets, dried tobacco, and a lovely spiciness thanks to 12 months of new French oak aging. Vineyards average in age of 35 years, giving a nice concentration to the beautifully structured palate.

When the historic Bordeaux family Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) looked to expand their portfolio into Argentina, they went to the home of some of the country’s finest, Catena, partnering with Nicolas Catena to create CARO. An idea quickly became a reality as the two historic wineries joined forces to create wines showcasing the two signature varieties of each producer, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. From vineyards aging 13-60 years old, sitting at elevations of 3100-4600 feet above sea level, Amancaya is predominantly Malbec with about 1/3 Cabernet Sauvignon from these high elevation vineyards nestled in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, giving a distinct mineral note to the black fruit, savory spice, and leather filled wine. Morello cherry, black fig, nutmeg, and clove mingle on the palate with balanced elegance and style.

The Lapostolle family began producing wine in their home country of France in 1827. Seeking an adventure, and believing in the possibilities that Chile offered, sixth-generation family winemaker, Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, and her husband Cyril de Bournet, headed south in 1994 to Apalta Valley, believing the terroir in Chile was ideal for crafting high-quality red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon. From Colchagua Valley, Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon ($25) is a hearty red that includes a touch of classic Bordeaux varieties (Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot) with Cabernet Sauvignon to create an earthy, robust wine filled with character. Full-bodied, with savory balsamic, cigar box, and leather, melding seamlessly with black and blue fruits and soft herbs. A delicious wine for the price.

EcoCert certified for their organic farming practices Veramonte wines showcase the essence of Chile, telling the story of the land in every bottle. From Colchagua Valley, Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon ($14) highlights the quality you can find in Chilean wine, producing a wine that tastes like it should cost much more. Rustic and bold, with flavors of black cherry, raspberry, and plum, melding with dusty dried tobacco and licorice.

 

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