Vina Cobos Bramare Cabernet Sauvignon Lujan de Cuyo 2016  £29.93

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After visiting Argentina in 1989, Californian trail-blazer Paul Hobbs became deeply interested in both the terroir and Argentine culture, noticing the unique potential for Malbec and other varietals in the region. After meeting two kindred spirits, Andrea Marchiori and Luis Barraud, they founded Viña Cobos in 1997 and since then there has been no looking back. Utilising gnarly old vines, careful vineyard selection, very low yields and an unerring empathy for the raw materials, Viña Cobos craft intense yet balanced wines that showcase the elegance and beauty of this region.

Luján de Cuyo is known historically as the ‘prime zone’ for wine-growing in Mendoza. Its high elevation location (3,018-3,537ft), in combination with a semi-desert climate and low-nutrient gravelly soils, provide ideal conditions for the cultivation of high-quality fruit. The Cabernet Sauvignon was cold-soaked for 4-6 days before fermentation with selected and native yeasts in 8 ton closed-top stainless steel tanks with a total maceration of 24 days. Native malolactic fermentation took place in the barrel after which it was barrel matured for 17 months in French and American oak, 30% of which was new.

Deep and intense red with dark violet hues, it has a powerful aromatic expression: black and red fruit like plum and blackberry, compliments the spicy notes so elegantly. With a good structure in the mouth and round tannins which lead to a long and persistent finish.  Classic Argentinan match of steak made with crushed black peppercorns, possibly blue cheese or for something different desserts dominated with red fruits.

2016 not yet reviewed, this is what they said about the 2015...

88 Points

The 2015 Bramare Luján de Cuyo Cabernet Sauvignon is the regional Cabernet Sauvignon for the Bramare range and was sourced from the traditional Luján de Cuyo district of Mendoza. This was the second challenging year in a row for the variety in Luján; in 2014, they didn't even bottle this Bramare, and in 2015, they didn't bottle the superior ranges. This Bramare is a very good effort, but it clearly shows the shortcomings of the year: there are some herbaceous notes intermixed with ripe hints of cherries in liqueur, and the palate shows a light wine, lacking some weight. 67,200 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2017.

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