Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cabernet is King - Vega Sindoa Cabernet Sauvignon '09

The everyday category is loaded with Cabs, probably hundreds, from every corner of the globe - the US, Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and France in the form of low cost Bordeaux. You rarely see them from Spain, which is surprising given that there is Cab in Spain, much of it having been brought there by the French a long time ago. Cab in Spain is most often blended with Tempranillo and other indigenous grapes, imparting it's usual black currant fruit, structure and aromatic complexity to the final product. You don't often see Cabernet from Spain bottled on it's own for $9.99.

Many of the everyday Cabs on the market are bland and uninteresting, very often so ripe and over treated with oak that the Cabernet character has been vinified out of them. What I look for in Cabernet is not only it's dark currant fruit, but those graphite and herbal elements in both the aromas and flavors that are unique to good Cabernet Sauvignon. Vega Sindoa is a brand of Bodegas Nekeas, a winery in the Navarra DO of Northern Spain, not far from Pomplona and the Pyrenees. According to the winery website, wine was produced in this valley as far back as the 17th century before the vines were devastated by phylloxera in the late 19th century.

Hillside fruit is best of course and with vineyard altitudes that range from 1400 to over 2000 ft., it's no wonder that these vineyards in clay and stones produce quality fruit. In fact, the Vega Sindoa Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely one of the best $10 Cabernets I have ever had. Dark and dense in color, the beautiful primary aromas of black currant and black cherry are complemented by graphite, herbs and earth. The plum and currant flavors are quite large-scaled for a wine at this price point. Mouth filling and long, this beauty finishes with a bit of dusty tannins. It's imported by Tempranillo by way of Jorge Ordonez, whose Spanish portfolio is one of the best in the business. If you like wallet friendly Cabernet, you should really seek this wine out. There's an interesting Q & A with Mr. Ordonez in The Shanken New Daily from 2011. Bottoms up!

No comments:

Post a Comment