Yesterday a shoot-out between Argentina, South Africa and France and the wines all played true to type.
Flechas de Los Andes is a partnership between the Rothschilds and Laurent Dassault of Saint-Émilion, the vineyards 120km south of Mendoza. The maiden vintage Gran Corte 2004 (60% Malbec, rest Merlot and Syrah) was all about weight and power. I thought it showed dead fruit – it’s alcohol by volume as stated on the label 15.5% – and I did not care for it all. Score: 82/100.
The Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2004 (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot, abv 14%) showed good fruit density – sweet in the best sense, the tannins already quite soft and very likeable. Score: 89/100.
The Alter Ego is the second label of Margaux Third Growth Chateau Palmer, the 2004 a blend of 57% Merlot and 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, abv 13%. This wine was more savoury with notes of iodine and crushed herbs to go with red and black fruit, really lively acidity and fine tannins. Score: 90/100.