2018 Alacran Letal
Made From: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Tastes Like: Plum, Blackberry, Vanilla, Oak
If you love plush, bold red wines like Caymus and Belle Glos but want to try something different, this wax-topped bottle is for you. Alacrán Letal (“Deadly Scorpion”) is a modern Argentinian take on the classic Bordeaux blend, combining 50% Malbec with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot to create a smooth, crowd-pleasing style of wine with rich, decadent layers of dark plum, blackberry compote, crushed cherries, and exotic spices. Winemaker José di Marco of Andes Growers vinified exceptional grapes from some of the best terroirs in Mendoza and aged them for 12 months in a precise balance of 55% French and 45% American oak, which contributes the noticeable vanilla tone and hints of toast. A “New World” version of an “Old World” classic, this wine is luxuriously full-bodied with a long, silky finish.
Alacrán Letal sounds pretty great – so why have you never seen or heard of it before? That’s because it’s completely new to the U.S.! A newly formed, women-owned micro-importer specializing in the wines from their native Argentinian Andes worked tirelessly with up-and-coming producers to bring this country their bottlings, which finally arrived just weeks ago. Andes Growers was one such winery.
Andes grows their vines in high altitude vineyards some 3600 feet above sea level, which contributes both ripeness (through more direct sunlight) and higher acidity to grapes and sets the stage for the Alacrán Letal blend. Sandy loam soils additionally contribute to Letal’s intense aromatics and smooth tannins, which are polished even more through aging. Though the winery isn’t well known, they are growing in the same premier subregion of Mendoza – Tupungato – that gave birth to the 2013 El Gran Enemigo Cabernet Franc, which became the first Argentinian wine to earn 100 Points from Robert Parker. It’s only a matter of time before indie bottlings like Alacrán Letal start making waves too!
We almost never get to introduce a brand new wine to the country, so this is incredibly exciting! And when it embodies the plush, luxurious flavors and mouthfeel of Caymus or Belle Glos and comes from the same premium subregion as El Gran Enemigo and Catena Zapata, you know this is an experience you can’t miss.
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