Bodega Weinert "Cavas de Weinert" Red 2009
40% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. Founded in 1975 by Bernardo Weinert, a Brazilian businessman of German origin, Cavas de Weinert has gone on to become one of the highest-acclaimed wineries in Argentina. Bernardo invested heavily from the start, determined to make a top-quality wine in the best way possible, and this ethos persists to this day. His red wines are noticeable for being aged 2-5 years, and sometimes longer, in old foudres in a deep, cool, granite cellar. Over time the brash fruit softens, mellows, and develops the tertiary aromas of leather, tobacco, and cedar. These wines have a certain similarity to other long-aged wines like traditional Riojas and Lebanon's Château Musar. After exhaustive research and study, Bernardo chose to establish his estate at Lujan de Cuyo, one of the areas best known for top-quality wines in Argentina's famous Mendoza province. The climate here is ideal for viticulture, with low levels of frost, hail, and wind, plenty of sunshine, and a good water supply both from the surrounding rivers and from melting snow high up in the nearby Andes mountains. Today, the estate is run by Bernardo's daughter, Iduna Weinert, and Swiss winemaker, Hubert Weber. After the grapes have been harvested by hand, fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled cement tanks, and the wines are then aged in French oak foudres in Weinert's underground cellars, which benefit from ideal levels of humidity and temperature. This wine, Cavas de Weinert, is their best-known wine and is always a blend made in the best years. The 2009 bottling, like its siblings, is complex, structured, and has grand aging potential. It is emblematic of European cultural heritage and Argentine viticulture. This is an estate that should be more well-known in the States.