This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20070822.php.
Tavern to kitchen
Briefly told, La Posta ("The Tavern"), a brand created by the U.S. wine importer Vine Connections of Sausalito, Calif., hails the warmth and nostalgia of a tavern in Argentina's wine-making Mendoza region where, the proprietors say, some of the top Mendoza grape growers would gather to drink wine and talk about "their soils, their vines, and their quest for superior flavors in their grapes." Right.
Contracting with some of the growers they met at this "posta del vinatero" ("vine-growers' tavern"), Vine Connection principals Ed Lehrman and Nick Ramkowsky offer a portfolio of vineyard-designated Malbec and Bonarda, along with today's wine, the "Cocina Blend."
This hearty, gutsy but balanced red evokes another warm and nostalgic setting for enjoying wine. "Cocina" means "Kitchen," and this is a wine made to go with food ... or, if you're willing to part with a glass for the sake of flavor, in the sauce or stew. Mouth-filling and appetizing, it's great with rare beef. You'll find my tasting notes below.
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La Posta 2006 Mendoza "Cocina Blend" ($15.99)
This red blend, a mix of 60% Malbec and 20% each Bonarda and Syrah, shows an opaque blackish-purple color in the glass, with glints of garnet against the light. Black plums and fragrant pepper come together in the aroma. Flavors are juicy and ripe, fresh and plummy fruit and zippy acidity, mouth-filling and appetizing, with soft but substantial tannins in the finish. Very nice wine indeed, and it's great with rare beef. U.S. importer: Vine Connections, Sausalito, Calif. (Aug. 17, 2007)
FOOD MATCH: Made to go with Argentina's excellent beef, it was fine with a comparative tasting of rare, pan-fried grass-fed natural beef steaks from two regional farms, a rib eye from Dreamcatcher Farm in Kentucky and a strip steak from Fiedler Farm in Southern Indiana.
VALUE: No complaints with the mid-teens for a wine that delivers this kind of enjoyment and food-friendliness.
WHEN TO DRINK: It's hard to predict ageworthiness in unfamiliar blends, but the excellent structure, acidity and firm but well-integrated tannins here certainly suggest that it will keep for several years and could evolve under good cellaring conditions.
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