Altavista, Bosca and the Ghost
Altavista, Atemporal, Mendoza, 2007 is an assemblage of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and petit verdot. Opaque purple, this is a ripper. Full bodied and dense, lots going on here, with raisins, plum pudding and dark chocolate. Problem is when the fruit fades there's a background of menthol - but it's a Halls coughdrop kind of menthol, and it's off-putting. The long finish is marred by this same coughdrop. It's still a good, big wine. Decant for one hour to let it settle before drinking. Next day wasn't as impressive, so don't keep it open too long. $20.
A next door neighbour is the Luigi Bosca, Single Vineyard Malbec, Lujan de Cuyo, 2006. The labelling on this bottle is interesting, it is one of the few Argentine wines that pushes "DOC" status on it label. This stands for Denominacion de Origen Controlada, meaning it is guaranteed to come from a specific area and conform to whatever rules the local authorities deem necessary to control the quality of wine from that region. This wine comes from a 70 year old vineyard, and it shows. Deep purple but not opaque. Clean nose of boysenberries and pomegranate. Medium-full bodied, lively and bright with intense, rich red fruits with some licorice and chocolate in the background. Not overbearing at all, very slick and new world in style with a nice, easy smooth mouthfeel. Good wine, well priced at $18, very impressive they can give you wine from a low yielding 70 year vineyard for this little. Left out for 24 hours it loses some brashness and becomes a little more elegant.
Last up this week is an interesting wine. The Ghost Pines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Winemakers Blend, 2006 is sourced from fruit from both NAPA and Sonoma, and is packaged like a marketing exercise. It's not a bad wine though - nice deep burgundy colour with a straightforward nose of blackberry and cherry. Firm, medium-full bodied, mix of raspberries and blackberries. Well made, clean, easy drinking although there are some slightly chewy tannins. Good wine, price point about what it should be for generic California cab - $20. This is what that funky Costco Julia wine should have tasted like....