An exploration of wine

636. El Porvenir de los Andes, Porvenir Cafayate Valley Salta, 2005

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Book 4 Wine 636

£35; 14.8%

The most ridiculously heavy bottle I’ve ever come across – 1,198g empty, compared with 1,320g for a full bottle of d’Armailhac – heralded this as an ‘icon’ wine. Which is a pity, because it isn’t so much in that style – overoaked, overripe etc. Rather, it’s a pretty good quality Argentine red, with some complexity, and only a little jammy. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Tannat and Syrah, this is a saturated black-ruby colour, with a narrow rim, just starting to show some garnet. On the nose, pronounced mulberry and slightly jammy blackcurrant, with distinctly lifted liquorice and mint notes. Oak overtones include coconut, suggesting some American oak, with vanilla, cocoa and a touch of cinnamon. Sweet blackcurrant flavour, slightly jammy again, with mint touches upfront, then a smoky, peppery mid-palate, giving way to medium(+), slightly grainy tannins at the medium+ length finish. But particularly noteworthy fresh acidity balances this full-bodied, medium+ alcohol wine – altitude, or added acidity?

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