A visitor from Bodega Benegas (Argentina)

This tasting was great tasting for several reasons:  1) the wines were phenomenal wines, especially for the money and 2) Berenice Maulhardt, who was visiting Seattle from the winery in Mendoza, was a power-frau to say the least.  A beautiful woman in her high-heeled boots and her long blond hair, excellent English and a lot of information to impart on the subject of Benegas (pronounced BeNEgas she told us) and Argentine wine in general, she dazzled the crowd which was a lot of fun.  Bodegas Benegas (www.bodegabenegas.com) has a long and interesting history, beginning in the 1880’s with Tiburcio Benegas planting the first French grapevines in the Americas and ending with Federico Benegas Lynch buying back the family winery in the late 1990’s.

Here are the tasting notes:

2006 Luna Benegas Cabernet Sauvignon $11.50 – medium-bodied, good dark fruit, easy to drink, soft tannins on the finish

2005 Don Tiburcio $17.50 – more complx, medium- to full-bodied with dark fruit, a little more tannic on the finish

2005 Benegas Malbec $23 – bigger, dark fruit, more tannic still.  Needs to age a little, but beuatiful dark fruit and lots of it.  Good with steak in year.

2006 Benegas Syrah $23 – a favorite at the tasting.  Need to drink now.  Has good dark fruit, easy, good sipper.

2005 Benegas Sangiovese $23 – a very big sangiovese. Not acidic & not light as you would normally expect from this varietal.  Big, full-bodied.  Needs a steak, too.

2004 Finca Libertad $28.50 – very complex, medium- to full-bodied Bordeaux blend. Fine tannins on the finish, delicate.  Drink now.  Serve with steak, roast, lamb.

2002 Benegas-Lynch Meritage $56 – biggest wine in the line-up.  Decanter gave this vintage 5 starts and named it the Best New World Wine that year.  It almost sold out at the tasting, with only 1 bottle left when we closed.  It’s so delicious, we recommend just sipping this wine.  It’s smooth, medium- to full-bodied; tannins have smoothed out. You have a really delicate wine.  Drink now.

In fact that’s just want some people at the tasting did.  When the tasting was technically over, but people were still hanging around as a film crew was interviewing Ms. Maulhardt for a documentary on Argentine wine, two gentlemen (who each bought a 6-pack of the Meritage amoung other things), just pulled a bottle from their case, popped it and starting sharing it with the people who were still there.  A little unorthodox, but it was generous and festive and was a nice end to the evening.

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3 thoughts on “A visitor from Bodega Benegas (Argentina)

  1. Wow, sound like you had a great time. I reallllly want to go visit wine country in South America and especially in Argentina. I wish you post a few of your pictures (if you took any). It would be cool to see the place too!

    1. Cornelia – Raven was around for 3 or 4 years (maybe more, but that’s what we’re aware of) but is no longer produced under that label and package. –Jens, Portalis Wines

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