Wine of the Day: Argento Bonarda; plus Carmen Gold Reserve Cab; Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir

WINE OF THE DAY

(Image courtesy of Argento)

(Image courtesy of Argento)

Argento Bonarda Mendoza 2012, $12

Like a red essence: intense, juicy, fruity, mouth-coating. Bonarda is a grape of Italian origin that is widely planted in Argentina, and Argento’s is one of the best. It tastes Old World and New World — it has the dry, leathery texture and structure of old Europe with the bright clean fruit of the New World. Last month, Whole Foods Market debuted this wine at stores across the U.S. I love the wines of Argentina and the story of this country’s long romance with wine grapes. See a short film by British filmmaker  James Kibbey following Argento winemaker Silvia Corti around the vineyards and dusty roads of Mendoza. It’s called “Cerca del Cielo,” which means “close to the sky,” which is just how Corti feels about the being in the vineyards in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Argento is widely distributed in Metro Detroit, including at Meijer and Kroger.

CHILEAN POWERHOUSE

Carmen Gold Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Chile 2009, $50

Carmen is one of Chile’s pioneering brands, founded in 1850. Carmen Gold Reserve is the winery’s single vineyard “best of the best” Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a powerhouse: the color is dark as midnght; aromas are cassis, black cherry and blackberry, with vanilla, smoke and spice off the barrels. It’s still tightly woven in the mouth — oak and alcohol permeate the flavors; it has good acidity and tannins are dusty and sweet; it has a lovely creamy texture. Carmen describes the palate as cherry brandy conserves with orange peel — I like that. California’s Trinchero brings this wine into the U.S.

PRETTY PINOT NOIR

Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir California 2011, $22

K-J is a big brand that’s often featured on specials. Don’t think twice if you see a deal on the Pinot Noir. This baby is raspberry, black cherry, dark plum, brown cooking spices and cocoa. Smoke and spice off the barrels are infused in the flavors. It has a midpalate blast of cherry and blackberry, and nutmeg. It was aged eight months in mostly French oak with close to 20 percent new barrels. Winemaster Randy Ullom calls it a garnet gem.

MICHIGAN WINE SHOWCASE

The biggest Detroit tasting of Michigan wines with winemakers and owners is the Michigan Wine Showcase, coming up Monday, April 15, at the Rattlesnake in Detroit. Read this previous blog for details and ticket information.

Contact Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@hotmail.com. Share your favorite wine picks and deals.