2005 Primera Reserva
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Magpie
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of the delicious Primera Riserva from the up-and-coming Urraca Vineyards
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Urraca Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2005 Primera Reserva (Malbec/Merlot Blend)
Winemaker: Walter Bressia
One of the six component varietals that go into a true French Bordeaux wine, Malbec (named for the Hungarian peasant who first brought the grape to France) is a thin-skinned grape that requires more time to mature than its Bordeaux brethren, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In America, where very little Malbec is grown, the wine is often used as a minority component of Meritage blends. Argentina is, perhaps, best-known for producing exceptional examples of the varietal.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dense and dark purple with ruby highlights through its dark but clear core. Along the edges the color lightens just slightly to garnet. When swirled, this slightly viscous wine leaves slow medium-thick legs that thin as they descent to the wine below.
Smell – Complex and redolent with spicy bold and ripe fruit including blackberry, blueberry, black cherry and plum layered with exotic and sweet spice, sweet floral notes, and hints of vanilla, oak and soft wild fennel.
Feel – The full-bodied classic is smooth, expansive and mouth-coating on the palate with fine but textured firm tannins and balanced acidity that supports the ripe and spicy fruit long into the finish.
Taste – Rich and plush fruit black and red fruit flavors that are well integrated with sweet spice and a subtle earthy component. As you explore this wine, hints of tobacco, bittersweet dark chocolate along with oak and other wood notes add both complexity and roundness to the many intense fruit flavors up front, emerging and evolving as you continue to enjoy this savory wine.
Finish – This wine finishes smooth and long with lingering spicy and earthy fruit layered over its subtle oak flavors. The finely textured tannins seen to go on and on, making the mouth water for yet another sip (until you’ve polished off your glass and eventually the entire bottle).
Conclusion – The 2005 Urraca Vineyards Primera Reserva is a lovely example of why Malbec is so popular as a varietal wine from Argentina. The addition of Merlot adds an Old World rive droite texture to the structure along with adding subtle complexity to the aroma and flavor profile. A lovely wine that will pair well anything from simple burgers and grilled meats such as lamb chops with garlic and rosemary.
Once upon a summer night, while I pondered what to drink,
Over many a curious bottle in my cellar,
Head held heavy, growing tired in the chilled air,
Suddenly there came a tapping,
As if someone was rapping, rapping on my cellar door,
‘Tis you, Agent Blush?’ I muttered, ‘tapping on my cellar door – Only this, and nothing more.’
I distinctly remember the warm moist air of late summer,
And retreating to my cool dark cellar to escape the weather.
Eagerly, I search for a bottle; to waste away until tomorrow, Secretly wishing to decrease my sorrow with a visit by my Angel Blush.
From the many dusty bottles, rare and radiant, whom the angel named Blush – Nameless here for evermore.
And the silky flavors, and round texture of a purple Malbec
Thrilled me with complexity and spice, fantastic flavors never felt before;
So for now, to the last sip, the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my cellar door –
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my cellar door -
This it is and nothing more,’
Deep into the dark core peering, long lingering wine I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams of another glass, a longing I have had many times before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token
Any the only words I whispered where angel Blush and Malbec no more.
Merely this and nothing more
Back into the cellar turning, all my palate within yearning
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before
Sipping again, then swishing, swirling and swallowing, it must be angel Blush
Let me see then, and what thereat is, and this mystery explore – Let my heart be still to enjoy this wine and this mystery explore
Tis the Spy Dog and nothing more?
Open here I flung open the door, when with many a flirt and a flutter,
In there stepped a stately singing magpie of Urraca lore
Not the least obeisance made her, not a minute stopped or stayed her
Perched upon one of my many bottles just next to my cellar door.
Perched, and sat and nothing more.
Then this ebony and white bird beguiling my intense focus into smiling
Tempting me with wine in hand there I look,
Quoth the magpie, another sip I took…
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Mendoza region in Argentina can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Robert Parker – …aromas of cassis, blueberry, and black cherry that jump from the glass. On the palate it is medium to full-bodied, layered, savory, and dense. It has enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years and the finish is long and pure. RP
88 Points – Wine Enthusiast – A different style of Mendoza Malbec (with 30% Merlot), and for the most part it’s intriguing and satisfying. For starters, the bouquet is a true bouquet: there’s funky spice, cinnamon stick and floral fruit aromas. The palate has some snap and acidic sharpness, but also good blackberry essence. Finishes smoother than up front, with woodspice and pepper coming on strong. Drink now through 2010. – M.S. (11/1/2008)
88 Points – Wine & Spirits
About This Wine:
This blend is the perfect combination of Malbec and Merlot. It exhibits an intense dark red color with purple hues and an elegant nose with touches of raspberries and mulberries. Aged in new French and American Oak barrels for 18 months, this wine is balanced out with chocolate, tobacco and vanilla. Its palate is large with great volume and consistent intensity, delivering a luscious impact with its refined sweetness and long, memorable finish.
To introduce this ‘first’ wine, the Langley family has enlisted award-winning winemaker Walter Bressia in order to create a unique expression of Argentina’s Malbec and Merlot grapes. Aged for 18 months in French oak, the resulting blend is dedicated to the spirit of excellence in New World wines while recalling the time-honored traditions of its European origins.
Intense red color with purple shades. Aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months, A perfectly proportioned blend with a long and memorable finish.
About The Winery:
John Langley, at the beginning of 2005, John Langley and his children – Morgan, Zak, and Sara – were able to realize their longed for desire of making premium wines. After touring the main regions of the wine world, they found their dream location in Agrelo, which was to become the birthplace of Urraca (magpie), a name that gains significance as it evokes the affectionate nickname given by John to his wife Margaret.
The Bodega: The winery is currently in its design phase. The project’s premises, of market regionalist features, have been developed by the Campalans Barfi Studio and seek to integrate Old World tradition and state-of-the-art technology. The will have a production capacity of 800 thousand liters.
About The Winemaker:
Walter Bressia – This renowned and award-winning Argentinean winemaker is one of the industry’s key figures. He combines traditional winemaker processes with state-of-the-art technology in order to achieve our author wines, which can be defined simply as unique.
Varietal Blend: 70% Malbec, 30% Merlot
Aged: 18 Months, French Oak