Mission Codename B-yond
WIA import red of the year goes to…Bodega Familia Blanco!! We drank SO much of this during the year, it’s amazing we have any left. Amazing with food, and simply a shining example of how good Malbec can be. If you’re new around here, WIA stands for Wine Intrigue Awards, when we revisit our best, most popular, most re-requested wines of the year. One last chance to grab your favorites!
“Make room in your cellar.” says Descorchados. Well, did you?
So, the big, chunky, embossed metal “B” is for da bomb? Baller? Blingin’, bonkers, bodacious.. use your imagination.
What we have here today is above and BEYOND in the must gotta-have-it department. Especially with a fat 60% discount. We could just leave it at “25 bucks for a 94 pointer” yet there’s so much more to tell…
“Great wine is the perfect link connecting the best work of nature with the best work of man.” claims consulting winemaker Giuseppe Franceschini. From pristine vineyards soaring way over 3,000 feet in the Andes, the terroir of the Ugarteche district of Luján de Cuyo is singular in the whole wide world, first of all. The high elevation means intense, long sunshine hours above the clouds, pristine snowmelt feeding the roots, and a cool mountain microclimate with dramatic temperature swings between night and day, providing freshness to the wines.
That rugged, picturesque landscape yields a wonderful wine packed with boysenberry, blueberry, fig, black tea, licorice, melted chocolate, and graphite. Amazingly expressive aromas come roaring out of the glass. A dark, pure red emerges with one big sip, featuring bright acidity to prop up the cassis and wild berry notes weaved throughout layered spices and loamy tannins. Mouthcoating, with a long, structured finish, is a beautiful expression of modern-day Mendoza. An equally layered and well-detailed roasted cut of meat or game with dried fruits and fresh herbs would do nicely.
Before you go load up, here’s a fun geek fact: This has 11% up-and-coming Bonarda, Argentina’s “other” red grape that is building a quality reputation as Malbec’s playful, laid-back cousin. It adds complexity to this blend here, with brighter red and blue fruit tones, while another addition of 15% Cabernet beefs up the structure and breadth.
Malbec blends this good are rare birds. We were able to grab only a couple of the few barrels made, will go fast.
94 Points – Descorchados
“This is a selection of the best barrels (from the best plots) of Familia Blanco in Ugarteche, and it is made up of 74% Malbec, 11% Bonarda, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc. And although it has been aged in barrels for about 15 months, oak is only a complement amid delicious, juicy, tense fruit. This has the potential to further develop for a while, so make room in your cellar.”
Cassis, wild berry, layered spices and loamy tannins
Resembles plum skin, purple and blue, with deeper swirls of black cherry within
Boysenberry, blueberry, fig, black tea, licorice, melted chocolate, and graphite
Dark, pure, bright, cassis and wild berry weaved throughout layered spices and loamy tannins
Mouthcoating, with a long, structured finish, is a beautiful expression of modern-day Mendoza
An equally layered and well-detailed roasted cut of meat or game with dried fruits and fresh herbs
What the Winery Says
2017 'B' Mendoza Malbec Blend
- Consulting winemaker
- Giuseppe Franceschini
- Ernesto Bajda
- 74% Malbec, 11% Bonarda, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc
- Ugarteche, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
- 3,182 - feet above sea level
- Alluvium, silt, rocky with scarce organic matter
- Pergola and high espalier
- Total acidity
- 5,85 g/L
- 15 months
- 100% new French oak
- 8 barrels