The Cecchins of Mendoza
Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon
According to Wines of South America, The Cecchins of Maipú, Mendoza, are a third generation wine family with a very strong focus on Carignan (though also well-known for their Malbec). They use horse-drawn ploughs and native yeast. The plots in their 27 acres of organic vineyards are bordered with aromatic plants to attract animal pests away from the vines. If you’re lucky enough to visit and dine in their restaurant, you’ll see the fruit, walnuts and olive oil, all organic, are grown on the farm.
Familia Cecchin Carignan, Mendoza (Argentina) 2015, 13%, €18.50 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny
The Cecchin Carignan has a purple colour, with a lighter rim. Earthy and savoury scents outweigh the expected fruit. On the palate, the fruit is the main element, a touch of spice too, tannins well integrated, no shortage of acidity and a lengthy finish. Light and refreshing and Highly Recommended.
Carignan is used mostly in blends, particularly in the Languedoc. It is rarely enough seen solo. Suggested food matches include Peppery Catalan sausage, Spicy lamb meatballs, and Aubergine lasagne.
Familia Cecchin Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza (Argentina) 2015, 13%, €18.50 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny
Fairly deep ruby red colour. Moderately intense aromas (black berries, cassis). No oak has been used. Straightforward Cabernet Sauvignon character on the palate, fresh and fruity and full bodied, full of vitality and noticeable acidity, good tannin structure and excellent length. This is a very dry wine, not at all related to the regular South American fruit bombs, and Highly Recommended.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely grown grapes and this Mendoza effort is really good value especially when you see that the Screaming Eagle version from the Napa Valley will, according to Wine-Searcher, cost you over €3,000 a bottle!
By the way, Wine-Searcher suggests Fillet steak with foie gras and truffles; Beef wellington with honey roasted carrots; Korean-style beef stir fried in garlic, soy and sesame, as a match for Cab Sauv.
Did you know that, in 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France?