Pulenta Estate La Flor Cabernet

Pulenta Estates Bodega La Flor – an Argentine Cabernet

2012 Pulenta Estates, “Bodega La Flor”, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina

The Wine of the Week
 with Annette Tomei

When most of us think of the wines of Argentina, the first thing that usually comes to mind (besides “delicious”) is Malbec –we may even forget that Malbec is one of the classic grapes of Bordeaux, and a mainstay in most Bordeaux-style blends. And, which grape is the king of Bordeaux? Cabernet Sauvignon, of course.

Cabernet (ok, Cab) is the broad-shouldered, sophisticated type that commands attention and has the ability to seduce even the most jaded palate. But Cab is also able to relax and enjoy a good burger–hence his (?) popularity and international recognition. Typical aromas and flavors range from pencil shavings, tobacco, tar, and leather to rich dark currant, blackberry, and chocolate. Of course that depends on where the wine is from and its age.

The verdict

Pulenta Estates is on 135 hectares in the Alto Agrelo area of Mendoza, Argentina. It is owned and operated by Hugo and Eduardo Pulenta.

Their 2012 Bodega La Flor Cabernet Sauvignon is dense and dark with aromas of licorice and cassis. For those who expect Argentinian Cabs to be a bit green and coarse, this one is a pleasant surprise. Though it is a bit hot (from alcohol) on the nose, on the palate it is ripe and juicy with flavors of dark plum and blackberry, and just a touch of espresso. The tannins are still a bit tight, but not harsh. Though this may not be a long-aging wine, it still needs a little time to open up. A brief decanting should help. For New World Cab lovers who don’t want to spend the big bucks for a mid-week wine, this is a great option. As for pairings, you can’t go wrong with red meat with Cabernet Sauvignon. Perhaps you might serve it with a juicy burger or skirt steak with chimichuri sauce, beef stew or bulgogi (Korean BBQ beef). For vegetarians, try pairing bigger tannic wines with hearty greens, earthy grains, and rich umami flavors of soy sauce or mushrooms.

Annette is the founder of VinEducation, where she is a food and beverage educator and consultant. She is also a professional chef who frequently contributes delicious recipes to EatSomethingSexy.com.

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