The 2010 Graffigna Centenerio Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is an Estate bottled 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the San Juan region of Argentina. Graffigna has been making wine in Argentina since 1870. To be Estate bottled the winery has to grow the grapes or have long term contracts for the grapes and then perform all of the winemaking procedures. San Juan is the second largest grape growing region in Argentina (Mendoza is 1st), it is north of Mendoza and growing season is hotter and dryer. Half of this Cabernet Sauvignon is aged for 12 months in 85% French oak and 15% American oak barrels and the other half is aged in stainless steel tanks. This gives the wine a bit of oak flavoring and aging potential, while retaining a good deal of bright, fresh fruit. The alcohol content is 14%.
The color is a dark, intense purple, that becomes almost clear as it reaches the edge of the glass. The nose is dark berries and plums, along with a little new leather coat, baking chocolate chip cookies and Band-Aids, of all things. This is a smooth, rich Cabernet with a soft velvety mouthfeel. It tastes of black cherry and blueberry, with a good dose of Snickers Chocolate. The mid palate adds some tart cranberry, a soft brush of dusty tannins and a late hit of fresh strawberry. The acidity is well balanced, you don’t notice it until the finish and it allows the finish to hang around for quite some time.
The 2010 Graffigna Centenerio Cabernet Sauvignon lists for $13 and I found it for $8.99 and for that price it is really a solid Cabernet Sauvignon. Many inexpensive Cabs can be soft and a little wishy-washy, all fruit and not much else, but the Graffigna gives good flavor along with balance and structure. This is a cheap Cabernet Sauvignon that is trendy BYOB worthy, it is a fine backyard sipper, but would excel with spicy foods that call for Red wine or a couple of aged steaks cooked on the backyard Webber grill.