​Weinert Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Mendoza


From £10.50 and soon to be launched in the US, Canada, Norway, Germany, Mexico, Korea, Brazil and Argentina, apparently.

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This is a seriously weird wine but one I wholeheartedly recommend to those wine drinkers who like to stray off the beaten track. It’s a wine from one of the more historic bodegas actually in the city of Mendoza, from a time long ago when grape growing and winemaking were two very distinct activities in Argentina. I visited the Weinert bodega on my very first visit to Argentina in 1989 and am told it is still an extraordinary building, more reminiscent of another age than a modern temple to winemaking technology.

Weinert has a long history of keeping wine in their ancient large casks much longer than is usual. This caught up with them eventually and the bodega acquired a reputation for less-then-impeccable wines. But the current man in charge Hubert Weber has been hard at work with his scrubbing brush and the wines now, while being highly unusual, are capable of giving a great deal of (rather old-fashioned) pleasure.

Weinert Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Mendoza has only just been launched and has already been snapped up by Toby Morrhall of The Wine Society in the UK. I absolutely understand why he suggests grouse as the ideal match for it for this wine is quintessentially gamey. Don’t even contemplate it if you prefer your wines squeaky clean and Davis-fresh. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for three years in French oak (four according to The Wine Society’s notes) and is 14.5% alcohol according to the back label and 15% according to The Wine Society. My tasting notes are below.

Mid ruby with a very mature rim. Wow! Very, very different. I can quite see why the US importer Bartholomew Broadbent calls this bodega ‘the Chateau Musar of Argentina’. A cocktail of yesteryear smells such as volatile acidity, mild (but by no means excessive) portiness, some very unconventional wood, masses of warmth. Not for the fainthearted but definitely for the curious. It doesn’t even recall the blockbuster syrups I came across on my first visit to Mendoza in 1989. And I certainly can hardly see the varietal character except for a little freshness on the finish. Very particul-arrr, I could imagine someone Spanish saying. Pretty nice on a cold winter’s night, but keep it away from any technocrats. There’s considerable warmth and sweetness until the end. By the way, this has absolutely nothing to do with the current Argentine wine revolution. 

I have a feeling there may be considerable bottle variation and it all depends on some pretty ancient large old wood, but if you find a good bottle, it will be VGV (very good value) for a nine-year-old wine – helped presumably by the current weakness of the Argentine peso.

I gave it 16.5 points out of 20, and thought it would drink well between 2012 and 2018. I kept an inch in a glass for six hours, expecting it to fall apart completely but it didn’t, which I thought boded well. If it’s a warming history lesson you’re after, this is your wine. But please don’t say I didn’t warn you that it is highly unconventional.

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See also Travels in Argentina – the guide.