Red Blend, 2018. Los Noques

Red Blend, 2018. Los Noques

Item #: L0922R2
Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Red Blend
Vineyard/Appellation: Uco Valley, Argentina
Color: Very Dense
Nose: Black Plum, Anise
Palate: Penetrating Black Fruit
Finish: Red Currant
Rating: 96
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2025/Red Meat/14.3% Alcohol by Volume

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The winery was built in 1938 in Argentina's Uco Valley, which rises to almost 4,000 feet above sea level. It was purchased by the Arrigoni Family in 2005 and folded into their medium-sized wine business, which had been founded in the 1960s also in the Uco Valley.

They farm 10 separate parcels of vineyards, each with its own unique qualities, giving them a large canvas on which to draw from every vintage. Our selection comes from four of those parcels and consists of 70% Merlot, 20% Bonarda and 10% Malbec. The permutation of grapes is nothing less than absolutely fascinating. Consider Bonarda. There is a grape of the same name grown in Piedmont, that is a cousin of the one in Argentina, but they're not the same. To make things even more confusing, the Italian version was the most planted grape in France's Savoir region where it was called Douce Noir. Douce Noir immigrated to the US where it is known as Charbono, which is considered an Italian grape.

As we like to say, a Douce Noir by any other name is probably Bonarda. All this falderal doesn't say anything about what the grape adds to the mix. Even in small amounts, the color is so dark and the flavors so dense, its impact is felt. That feeling translates to an exciting wine with power and grace to spare. The color is almost opaque. The nose redolent with deep, dark plum and anise and finish is titillating. Matching with a charred rib eye or smoked pork ribs would be a yum in spades.