How long will it take wine consumers to put aside their Argentinian Malbec and move to Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon? Given the hype over Argentinian Malbec in the past 15 years with the Argentinian government onside promoting an annual Malbec Day throughout the world it could be some time before Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon matches up and sands proudly beside its Malbecian brother. But remember Chianti, Soave and Lambrusco once had their heyday and crashed to surface and after many years of rehab they resurfaced . Yes remember the Eaton Boys here in Canada. Their lack of management skills it can be argued brought the Canadian retail giant down. Motto is because you are in the spotlight bulbs can and do burn out. One also may want to keep an eye on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Some of it is of atrocious quality and it still flies off the shelf. I should add the top RKS Wine red wine in 2022 so far is an Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon.
Is the Cicchitti 2019 Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon ready to spar with Mendoza Malbec?
On the nose ample black cherry and blueberry oozes about with traces of cactus pear, shades of chocolate and root beer. The high alcohol content of 14.5% is in the background clamouring for some recognition. I’m not sure that is a good quality to have. Alcohol should be integrated into the wine not hovering above threatening to take all the attention. On the palate the alcohol distracts from the tannins but it may be that they are mild. The palate seems trumped by alcohol so one senses power and little fruit. Unfortunately as the wine opens up an overactive acidity lurches out of the shadows. Ready for a wine mugging?
I find 14.5% in this wine overpowering. High alcohol is not necessarily fatal to a wine. In many cases it can, with great skill, be integrated into the wine so that it is hardly noticeable.
High alcohol and acidity rob the wine of any possible star status.
I think this might pair with venison or a breast of duck with a port wine and cherry reduction sauce.
(Cicchitti Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Mendoza, Argentina, Bodega Cicchitti, Mendoza, Argentina, $17.00, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 24849, 750 mL, 14.5%, RKS Wine Rating 82/100).