Christie Kiley on January 26, 2015 1 Comment When it comes to going out and shopping for a good wine, there seems to be a little bit of a stigma of thought that you must spend a fair amount of money to have a good wine. In my experience, if you shop around, try various wines in various price ranges, this is not necessarily true. As with purchasing anything else and making a smart decision on what to purchase, it usually just takes educating yourself on the product. In the case of finding great wine, it does involve the pleasure of sipping on it. Really, I see no drawback in this. Everyone loves a Cabernet Sauvignon, but to indulge in a Cab more than every once in a while can put a little dent in the wallet. The Antucura Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 will do no such thing. It will satisfy your craving for a nice, simple Cabernet and then you might even purchase it again, or have a case on hand for any future cravings. Where is it from? The bodega of Antucura is located in Vista Flores, a subregion of the Valle de Uco in the province of Mendoza in Argentina. Valle de Uco is ranked as one of the top most important valleys in Mendoza and also one of the most prestigious. If you ever get a chance to visit, pull into any of the numerous wineries on ‘La Ruta de Vino’ and you are in for a treat. The vineyards seem to butt up against the very foot of the Andes Mountains and go on for an eternity. If you go in the summer, the views are spectacular and to take pictures and get it all in one frame is almost impossible. The vibrant green vines at the foot of towering mountains with their snow-capped peaks appear to almost be a mirage. It is truly a magical place very few get a chance to visit, but one to put on the bucket list. But enough of my poetic reminiscing, I want to tell you more about the wine and where it is made. The name Antucura, translating into ‘Sun Stone’, comes from the language of Mapudungun, the language of the indigenous people who once lived in this valley some five-hundred years ago. In some parts, you can tour ruins of these peoples and see paintings on cave walls. The vineyards of Antucura live at 1,050 meters above sea level, about 3,500 feet. The soils here are unique compared to many other parts of the Mendoza wine region, and the surface is scattered with an abundance of glacial stones and boulders. Have a walk around the vineyards and you will see various shapes and sizes of white and pink quartz-like rocks, black and tan as well which were all transported via snow run off and glaciers in pre-historic times, that would carry them as it carved out the valleys below. The climate in the Valle de Uco is ideal for cultivating vineyards with a significant range in temperature just in one day, swinging from lower temperatures in the mornings with sometimes a foggy mist once the earth has warmed later in the growing season that burns off in the heat of the intense afternoon sun. The temperatures then dip in the evenings once again. The region is considered a high desert and with such a climate the grapes are able to fully mature in both sugars for alcohol content in the wines and in the flavor and aromatic profiles. Antucura may not be organic, but they are organic in practice, working with the natural flora and fauna to maximize the quality of their fruit. Their vineyards consist of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec—the red flagship grape of Argentina—Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. All of the vines are clones were imported from Bordeaux. The Elaboration of Their Wines The goal of Antucura is to bring forth and express what lies in their local terroir into their wines and the unique climate of Vista Flores. The winemaker is Herve Chagneau, and started with Atucura in 2011. He is a great talent to have on their team with extensive experience working in the regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol. The clusters are first selected by hand and only the best of the fruit is used to make all of their wines. The grapes are crushed and then sent to stainless steel tanks only using gravity. The fermentation is started only using the native yeasts of the area with fermentation time slowed down and often going for an entire forty-five days. This is significantly longer as most average red wine fermentation’s go from two to three weeks. The wine is further aged in French oak barrels which are selected specific to the styles of wines they are making to match the expression of the fruit and aromatic characteristics of each individual wine. The Wine As you have read, this wine has a pretty impressive resume and once you see the price of it, you will be surprised at its value. Do not wonder, do not ask, just enjoy. These trivial matters are sometimes best left unexplored. Let me get on with the wine. The wine is deliciously juicy, but not lacking in character and depth with notes of slightly sweet plums, cassis and cherry with nicely balanced spice notes of clove, cinnamon and toasty hazelnut. The finish of the wine is soft with subtle tannins and the lingering perfume is almost of dried dark rose petals.