Argentina and Chile are making some stunning red wines these days. Here we review two excellent quality, affordable reds from these South American countries: Finca Flichman Vino Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon and Indomita Cantus Melot.
Original review shortly after release: Finca Flichman is an Argentinian vineyard managed by the Portuguese-based Sogrape group. This is a value-priced 100% cabernet aged six months in oak.
In the glass, this is a rather opaque dark medium red. Aromas are a rather generous rare roast beef, slightly bloody, with a touch of plum sauce.
On the palate, flavors touch the roof of your mouth first – purply plum resolving into tannins that drip lightly down the sides of your mouth. As the sip finishes, a lingering sweetness and touch of acid bring a reasonably long finish. Quite respectable now, and worth a try after a couple years of mellowing. A solid three stars out of five.
Updated review after two more years in bottle: Color and aromas are consistent with prior tasting 1 1/2 years ago. The purply plum flavor, though, has resolved to a fulsome, lightly tannic ripe berry fruit. Consistent, lingering, sweet finish. Doesn’t seem to need more age. But tannins are still there, suggesting that another year or two won’t harm anything. Three stars still appropriate.
Find Finca Flichman Reserva at WineZap.
Review: Vina Indomita makes an entire line of value-priced Chilean wines, called “Cantus”. The Cantus Merlot – like the rest of the Cantus reds except for pinot noir – hails from the well-regarded Maipo Valley region of Chile. I tasted the Cantus Pinot Noir twice, giving it three stars out of five and thus earning it a “best value” tag at its low price point, so I’m reasonably enthusiastic about the merlot. This is especially so given merlot’s higher recognition in Chile. But let’s see what the wine holds…
In the glass, Cantus Merlot is deep, dark ruby red. Aromas are bold indeed: deep, roasty, sweet red berries, fragrant inside of helium balloon, touch of purple ink – yummy overall.
On the sip, the mid-palate is struck first with a sleek, lightly mineral rush of brightish red fruit. Like red currant and perhaps strawberry on the tongue, with flavors to the red currant side. A hint of black charcoal and associated burnt “twang”. The 14.5 percent alcohol shows on the hot finish.
This was three or more stars from the bold aromas, but the unbalanced palate drives me back to two stars, with a plus – of course – for the exquisite aromas. This very young wine will need some serious decant time before my next sip.
Find Cantus Merlot at WineZap.