It's the holiday season, and Cabernet drinkers are making a list and checking it twice. We wondered what Cab fans might consider the perfect find for the season, and thought a wish come true would be a delicious Cabernet from Napa Valley with a 95-point review and a sub $10 price. Now the likelihood of this actually happening these days is a little more likely than the dinosaurs returning to roam the earth, but it's still unrealistic. What we stumbled across is the 2013 Antucura Vista Flores Cabernet Sauvignon, which is about as close to the ideal holiday Cabernet as we have ever seen.
The Antucura Cabernet is from the Uco Valley high up in Mendoza. It does have a 95-point review from the respected British wine journal Decanter, and while we couldn't quite hit 10 bucks, $14 is a pretty spectacular fare for something with this kind of credential. Black and dark red fruits, a feeling of plushness with lift so it doesn't sit heavily on the palate - this is a well-crafted, expressive bottle of Cabernet. How do they do it? A lot of credit is given to the Vista Flores terroir, a low harvest of 2.5 tons per acre, and having Michel Rolland on the team. It seems like the perfect time of the year for this amazing value to show up. Too bad they only made 1,200 cases.
Since we sold boatloads of the 2012 Antucura Vista Flores Malbec back in February, we suspect more than a few of you are familiar with this wine. This was also a Decanter 95-point selection, and sold for an even sillier price of $11.99! Clearly a wine with those kinds of accolades in this price range won't require much persuasion. This 2012 Antucura Malbec is a delicious offering showing lovely, layered dark red and blue fruits, spice, and notes of violet on the nose (maybe it's the power of suggestion given the purple label). They also did a fine job on the texture as this one shows a fairly supple and layered palate feel. It's an engaging and well-made Malbec that should please a wide audience. This is a plush, fruit-driven wine with a great price and an epic "delta" (price/score relation).
Some of you are probably wondering why we are talking about that Malbec. Our purveyor recently uncovered an odd batch (about 80 cases) of this wine in his warehouse that should have been long gone, so we took it all without hesitation. Even though purple and red aren't necessarily holiday colors, these delicious wines will look mighty fine on your holiday table. With these fantastic reviews and great prices, you should stock up as they will serve you well for the other 364 days of the year.