Cuvelier Los Andes Gran Vin 2004
Valle de Uco, Mendoza
Dense, clear and bright red with some violet hues.
Intense aromas of spicy, overripe black plums or prunes. Cinnamon, cloves, pencil shavings, a fresh graphite minerality, and underlying fruit characters of blackcurrant and blackberry.
Medium bodied but dense and intense. Flavours absolutely true to nose, with addition of oak complexities of liquorice and coffee, and a slight earthiness. Very spicey, with the aromatic cinnamon and clove joined by a peppery tingle. Excellent fresh acid balances the 15.5% alcohol and while the mouthfeel is by no means round or smooth, the tannins are fine and reasonably soft and contribute to an excellent long, dry finish.
The Gran Vin from Clos de los Siete contributor Cuvelier is a racey and invigorating blend of 75% Malbec, 15% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fermented using only native yeasts, and aged 11 months in French Oak, this blend manages to draw out exciting and enticing varietal characters, especially from the Malbec, and concentrate and frame them with the wood and minor variety characters to produce an exciting drinking experience. While some drinkers might prefer to give this a year or two more to develop a rounder mouthfeel, it's striking an excellent balance between sophistication and exhiliration right now. Good value.