2010 Rio Seco Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina $5.99

Silverdale, WA    13.5% alc.    (Purchased on 1/24/15)

IMG_1994Color & Clarity: Mostly clear deep garnet.

Aromas: Nose of cassis, earth, medicinal aromas and funky forest floor.

Flavors: In the mouth, there are obvious “sweet” oak and rich dark fruit (black plum) flavors on the front of the palate, followed by more of that distinct medicinal character (funk) that I tend to identify as Bordeaux-like; also shows tar and espresso.

Texture: Medium tannins coat the mouth and add texture; the right level of acidity pulls everything together nicely.

Finish: Fairly long, flavorful finish.  I consider this Cab to be more Bordeaux-like than any Bordeaux I’ve ever had from GO.  Very unique and quite tasty.

One downside: Plastic cork, but a very tight seal (which could be good or bad depending on your take on air exchange through natural cork in red wines).

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42 thoughts on “2010 Rio Seco Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina $5.99

  1. JWC

    Well, guess what, I popped the cork on this tonight, with my roast, and enjoyed this. After cooking the roast in the Loma Prieta Santa Cruz Mts pinot noir, this ’10 Rio Seco Reserva Cab Sav was a perfect companion. Nice dark cherry fruit, along with a bordeaux flavor profile going on, I even got a touch of menthol, mint and the classic green/herbal quality, that I’m not a fan of (Hello Darrell 🙂 ) but in this instance it worked. Lim13, my bottle compared favorably to your initial review. I was very pleasantly suprised! Thumbs Up, Lim13, this site needs you brother. Cheers!

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Thanks for your kind words, JWC…and I’m glad your bottle was tasting good, as I’ve got about a half dozen in the cellar.

      Reply
  2. permiesworld

    Tried this tonight. Didn’t finish it. It was very tart cherry with some black pepper. Didn’t at all taste like Cab to me. Guessing it was more of that bottle variation issue.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      I am now at the point…thanks to reports from a number of our readers…where I feel it necessary to NOT recommend this wine anymore. My one bottle was excellent, but the negative experiences that others have had now vastly outweigh the positive ones. Bottle variation, poor prior storage issues etc. at GO are driving me nuts.

      Reply
      1. permiesworld

        You know, I have felt that way for a while. I can’t remember which wine sent me down that path…I think it was the Passages cabernet. Our first few bottles were amazingly good. I recommended it, bought more (either from another case or another store or another shipment) and people started weighing in, talking about how it tasted nothing like what we described. It really shocked me because this wine that we had was pretty excellent. Then, we opened the new bottles…and it was like a slap in the face compared to our original purchase. Nothing at all like the wine I’d reviewed.

        That’s happened on smaller scales over the years but I’ve never seen such a wide variance as we are right now. At first I put it down to inexperience. Then I began to wonder about bottle handling. Then I began to wonder if wineries were just dumping garbage. (Sometimes it seems like the very first wine from the store is amazing and then the restocks of the same thing are SO bad…so it draws you in to buy and then boom…but that is unnecc. conspiracy theory. lol) Then I wondered if the new ownership just has an extremely lousy wine buyer. Now I’m wondering if they’ve completely changed their target audience. The things we are seeing up here are at best, bottom line grocery store wine (and it’s been that way for months).

        So I don’t know…but I’ve stopped in general, recommending anything unless it’s amazing. And even then, there are disclaimers attached. Shouldn’t be that way…imo.

        Reply
        1. permiesworld

          ^^ in reference to what I said above…I had a French merlot (La Galiniere Merlot) from GO the other day. We liked it. Actually quite a lot (it was a little more alcohol hot than I expected from France..given the 12% abv, but the flavors were nicely integrated). But I’m so gun-shy these days, that I did not write a review.

          Reply
      2. Darrell

        Lim and PW, GO wine inconsistencies have driven me to browse Costco and TJ wines and actually pricing similar wines. I did pick up a Rosenblum Zin at $2.99 out of frustration from TJ’s and I almost never get wine there.

        Reply
        1. permiesworld

          Locally, lately, I’ve been buying from Costco too. They’ve had some nice things (pretty much all the time) for really good prices. And if I want something special I buy online from CH or K&L. Rarely make it over to TJ though.

          Reply
          1. seedboy

            Interesting, I’m not seeing the bottle variation you all are talking about, except maybe in the recent Russian Hill bottlings. I wonder why? One thing is that I do avoid those negociant bottlings like the Passages.

            Reply
        2. lim13 Post author

          Hi Darrell. “GO wine inconsistencies have driven me to” reacquaint myself with my cellar, which could keep me busy for many years. I don’t spend nearly the time I used to looking at wine in retail shops. There were days years ago when I couldn’t leave a store that sold wine without something in hand. And for those of you who are into cellaring in large quantities. Careful! You could be seriously disappointed if you forget what’s down there…or keep buying and cellaring and not drinking.

          Reply
          1. permiesworld

            We’ve been doing that too. And it has been a good idea. I had some 2009 Crianza (bought from SD Wine co) that needed to be consumed. It was nearly past it. There’s others in there that are right on the edge too, that I’d forgotten about, because of the newest wines. I’m not sorry at all. I have one untasted GO wine left. The Luna Pinot Grigio. That’s it. Until they get something incredible in stock, that will be it.

            Reply
            1. seedboy

              About a year ago I emptied my wine cellar so that it could become my older son’s bedroom. In process, I found some bottles I thought were long gone, including 1985 BV Georges dela Tour and Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet. The former was amazing. The latter has not yet been opened.

            2. lim13 Post author

              Funny you should mention that BV, SB. Last June I opened a bottle of the 1981 Georges de la Tour from my below ground cinder block cellar (our house is 100 years old this year) for a group of 16 people (we all got a one ounce pour). My notes: “Decanted off its sediment about four hours before serving left it quite clear. Brick red with some medium garnet; tons of tannin and perfectly balanced acidity; obvious oxidation shows in the caramel, burnt wood nose. While most of the fruit has dropped out, it still shows signs of what it once was. For nearly 33 years old, it has held up relatively well.” But I’m afraid that most folks with little or no experience with old wines, would think the wine tasted awful and “over the hill”. If you ever open the Monte Rosso, how ’bout sharing your experience?

            3. Darrell

              SB, the 1985 BVPR was a good vintage so no surprise about your bottle. I know where my bottles are, but for the life of me, I can’t find my BIG, BIG bottle that’s being saved for a matrimonial occasion.

            4. permiesworld

              The one that I keep not opening is a 2004 Mt. Eden Santa Cruz Mtn cab. I actually bought it from JWC (because that wine has special memories for us, not necc. the year but the Vineyard). Otherwise, it’s mainly CH Cabs I’m aging and a few specials that I’m rationing like that Colonial Estate Shiraz or or the Le Riche Reserve (also bought JWC’s remainder lol…haven’t regretted it for a minute). But I do have some lower end Spanish that I put away and forgot about…while the Portuguese wines still need some time, those Spanish ones (IMO) really are at their peak.

              Re: the Le Riche & the Colonial Estate…I truly wish GO would come up with some more of those lovely surprises instead of what we have been seeing.

          2. Darrell

            Lim, sometimes I do forget what I bought and I stumble across a bottle or case of Bordeaux and it’s like Christmas. Gee, where did this come from? I don’t remember buying this. Believe me, I am not disappointed.

            Reply
            1. lim13 Post author

              That’s good, Darrell. You’re lucky. Count your blessings. I can’t say that’s what I always find when opening an old bottle. Many are extremely disappointing. But few of our readers likely have any idea of what really old wines (let’s just say 15 or more years) taste like or are supposed to taste like. And even more likely don’t recognize which wines are appropriate for aging (myself sometimes included). It’s often a real crapshoot.

            2. seedboy

              I love Mt Eden. I’ve known the wine maker a long time. You need not be in any hurry to drink that cab.

  3. RockRat

    And now we’ve also encountered the bottle variation. Out of 4 bottles, one quite good, one acceptable, and the other two horrid. One left. Don’t think it’s VA, per se, or acetylacidosis, but something in the sanitation or perhaps the storage that serves to amplify the funk into unpalatable realms. Thinking maybe some bottles got cooked. Too bad. Our retailer was considering pulling the lot off the shelves.

    Reply
    1. EHL

      That’s too bad, RockRat (like that name..climber?) but at least you got a good bottle and tasted the fine potential of the Cab and you’re right, there was some leather in there, too.

      Hopefully you took the bad ones back and got credit…and if you see the Russian Hill Syrah and Pinot Noir, grab them…great wines at bargain basement prices!

      Reply
  4. DavidLikesWine

    Going out on a limb here, but opened a bottle of this tonight and am wondering if there might have been some bottling mishap. Light garnet, medium body, some funk on the nose, tart cherry/raspberry flavors with some tangy-ness. Not bad at all, but doesn’t taste at all like a cab to me. In fact, it tastes very much like the review of the 2011 Rio Seco Pinot Noir. Anybody else have this experience, or am I just crazy?

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      I once bought what I thought were two bottles of Steele Vineyards zin and they turned out to be pinot noir. Both of them. Lucky bottling mistake.

      Reply
    2. Darrell

      Finally tried a bottle for lunch and found it like you do. No funk in the nose but in the flavor. Not too Bordeaux-like nor CS either, but rather a noticeable VA on the nose which may be the tanginess, acidic and tart in the mouth noticed by others. I have to call this sour instead. Can’t be PN from flavor, smells or color.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Sorry, you guys apparently encountered bottle variation.

        One of my bottles drank similar to what you gentlemen described but, thankfully, the others were in the vein of Lim’s review… and much, much better.

        Sigh, life at GO….

        Reply
      2. lim13 Post author

        Thanks for the comments on the bottle you tried, Darrell. Other than that, there’s really nothing more to say except that my bottle was very Bordeaux-like…to me. Perhaps EHL sums it up best.

        Reply
      3. EHL

        Opened my fourth bottle of the Rio Seco Cab and, unfortunately, it looked cloudy upon first pouring and tasted sour and tart thereafter, confirming my initial negative suspicion.

        Yup….the specter of bottle variation rears its ugly head…that’s two excellent bottles and two bad ones…

        Batting .500 is great only in baseball…taking this back…

        Reply
          1. EHL

            Hey Darrell…not sure about VA with ethyl acetate/acetic acid, since I didn’t notice any prominent nail polish remover or glue aromas in the nose…

            Reply
        1. lim13 Post author

          Sorry to hear of your trevails with this wine, EHL. Glad GO has a wide open “bring it back if you don’t like it” policy. Fortunately, I’ve been on a “no wine buying” kick…so I only bought the one bottle I reviewed…in which case it’s commendable that readers like yourself are so willing to report on bottle variation.

          Reply
          1. EHL

            Hey Lim…well, that is part of the GO experience and we are lucky that GO honors their return policy consistently.

            All I can say is that when the Rio Seco Cab was a good bottle, it was really an excellent, memorable wine…and when it was a bad bottle, it was a completely different animal…

            Took the rest of the lot back and traded it in for credit, using it to purchase another half-case of the highly-regarded Russian Hill Winery Pinots and Syrahs…so a happy ending nonetheless!

            Reply
  5. EHL

    Opened up another bottle of the Rio Seco Cab and, unfortunately, it didn’t deliver like my first bottle.

    Upon opening, the dark red wine appeared a little cloudy, not a clear garnet color like before.

    Although drinkable, the wine was also noticeably more acidic and tart, which did not diminish as it breathed through the second day, and the bordeaux-like essence never really revealed itself.

    Hopefully, the other bottles I picked up will be different.

    Reply
    1. lim13 Post author

      Thanks for the report, EHL. As usual, the crapshoot with GO wines from one bottle to the next continues. Please keep us posted as you open the next bottle(s). I bought no more, as my cellar says “No more wine!”

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Hey Lim…..since you asked, my third bottle, I’m pleased to report, turned out magnificently……very pleasant, complex nose, coupled with that full, rich, smooth Bordeaux taste that I am learning to crave.

        Going to finish off the rest of the Cab at a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament tonight…and if lucky, may supplement the nine bottles I already picked up with more!

        Reply
        1. lim13 Post author

          Thanks for the follow-up, EHL…and I’m glad that bottle was back to form. Win the pot? (I’m talkin’ poker here!)

          Reply
  6. EHL

    Hey Lim……nice review and, as usual, you hit it on the head.

    I was intrigued by your reference to this wine being “more Bordeaux-like than any Bordeaux I’ve ever had from GO”…and definitely had to try it.

    Glad I picked up several bottles for $5 apiece, our regular California discount — LOL, as this is a very distinguished, delicious and memorable wine….and quite a bargain for this price.

    Thank you, sir!

    Reply
      1. EHL

        Oakland GO……they had several cases, Lim.

        Finished the bottle off today and it was still quite delightful…..rich, smooth, dark fruit with a nicely-balanced tannic finish…..and that bordeaux-like funky bouquet and taste you discerned….excellent wine!

        For the time being, I guess this will have to be the standard against which I measure true Bordeaux’s that are accessible ….

        Reply

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