50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Shiraz (Syrah); 14% ABV
San Juan, Cuyo, Argentina
$6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 17 Oct
I was attracted to this nice bottle and label, and to the wine’s “reserve” status. However, immediately upon opening it stank of sulfur. I had never smelled such strong sulfur in a wine. (For the chemists out there, I’m sorry I don’t know the oxidation state of this sulfur.) During three hours in a decanter and glass, the sulfur diminished but not to a drinkable level. And aside from the sulfur, the fruit was tight and acid. Maybe the second half will be better, but I’m not holding my breath.
However, amazingly, when I opened the second half (stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air), it needed only a little more air to become pretty tasty. The fruit was still a little rough and had a slightly unusual “post-sulfur” (?) character, but it showed tasty darker cherry, boysenberry / plum, maybe edging into blueberry, in a full body. I guess, with this weirdness, it gets a Drinkable at best, but if you have the patience to, for example, put it in a covered decanter for a day before you drink it, it could reward you with pretty good wine for the money.