The 2012 Restivo Silver Series Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from a vineyard in the Barrancas sub-region of the Maipu District inside the Mendoza grape growing area of Argentina. Barrancas differs from the rest of Maipu in that it lies at a lower altitude (2,500 ft) and is warmer and drier. The main growing factors for Argentinean grapevines is the intense sunlight due to the elevated location of the vineyards and the access to water from snow melt off from the Andes for irrigation. The high elevation eliminates virtually all of the pests that can damage the grapevines. This is an inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon that is going exhibit “terrior,” or the characteristics of a wine grown in a very particular location. 30% of this Cabernet is aged in French oak barrels and the rest is aged in huge lined concrete ponds, adding a some oak flavoring and texture, while retaining the bright fruit flavors. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is plum red with a pink halo. The nose is raspberry, black cherry, pepper, cassis and a dash of herbs. This is a lean, well balanced Cabernet Sauvignon with nice, tight structure. It tastes of blueberry, licorice, plum and a little Snickers chocolate. The mid palate adds sharp, tart cherry, a soft touch of vanilla and a little slap from the dusty tannins. The acidity does not get in the way and the finish is long and strong.
Argentina is not just Malbec and Torrontes anymore, Patagonia (the South end of Argentina) is developing a reputation for Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza is offering some real bang for the buck. The Restivo Silver Series Cab Sauv is a very solid bottle of wine, lean and structured, it would enhance a meal of beef or pork and it has the flavor and depth to make it a drinking and thinking wine.