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Weinert Carrascal Assemblaje Especial Mendoza NV

Red Wine from Argentina
A blend of 11 vintages between 2004 and 2017, bottled in 2019. The blend of grapes is similar to Weinert's much-loved regular Carrascal Corte Clasico – 55% malbec, 30% cabernet sauvignon and 15% merlot – but compared to the lieder of the normal bottling, the different vintages combine to produce something more like a choral symphony!
Price: £10.95 Bottle
Price: £131.00 Case of 12
In Stock
Code: AR4031

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • 14.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2026
  • 75cl
  • Cork, diam

Argentina

It may have been making wine since the mid-16th century (and is the fifth-largest wine-producing country), but it is only in the past decade or so that Argentina has shown wine drinkers around the world what it is capable of. Historically, Argentina has had a healthy domestic market, so exports were never the country's top priority. But as consumption at home slowed, more and more wineries have strived to make an impression overseas.

Argentina has now established a reputation for top-quality reds, and has attracted its fair share of foreign investment, from the likes of Château Lafite, LVMH (owner of Krug Champagne and Château d'Yquem in Sauternes, among others), and top wine consultant Michel Rolland.

The heart of the Argentine wine industry is Mendoza, in the far west of the country, where more than 80% of Argentina's wine is made. Altitude is a great marker of quality, and above 900m the climate is cool enough to produce fine wines. Within Mendoza, sub-regions to look out for include ...
It may have been making wine since the mid-16th century (and is the fifth-largest wine-producing country), but it is only in the past decade or so that Argentina has shown wine drinkers around the world what it is capable of. Historically, Argentina has had a healthy domestic market, so exports were never the country's top priority. But as consumption at home slowed, more and more wineries have strived to make an impression overseas.

Argentina has now established a reputation for top-quality reds, and has attracted its fair share of foreign investment, from the likes of Château Lafite, LVMH (owner of Krug Champagne and Château d'Yquem in Sauternes, among others), and top wine consultant Michel Rolland.

The heart of the Argentine wine industry is Mendoza, in the far west of the country, where more than 80% of Argentina's wine is made. Altitude is a great marker of quality, and above 900m the climate is cool enough to produce fine wines. Within Mendoza, sub-regions to look out for include Luján de Cuyo in the Upper Mendoza Valley, and the Uco Valley, to the south-west of the city of Mendoza.

One of the strengths of the region is the quantity of old vineyards, planted to a relatively high density. The climate here is semi-desert and vines could not survive on the low levels of rainfall alone. The Huarpe Indians, who were in the area before the arrival of the Spanish, long ago built a sophisticated system of irrigation channels, many of which form the basis for the modern structures. What rain there is has the unhappy habit of falling in February and March and the harvest takes place in late March, so many vineyards are planted on free draining soils to mitigate against the effects. Flood irrigation is used where the land is flat enough and drip irrigation is increasingly used to give large but infrequent doses of water to the vines. Hail is a significant risk too, with 30% of vines damaged every year.

There is less regional diversity in Argentina than you might imagine, because the climatic differences are often negated by the effects of altitude. For example, the region of Salta, in the north of the country, has some of the highest vineyards in the world, at around 2,000m, but the region's northerly location means its climate is similar to Mendoza. The altitude here, and in Mendoza, provides the vines with plenty of ultraviolet light which encourages the development of anthocyanins and therefore colour in the red grapes, hence the rich, deep colour of many Argentine malbecs. When these anthocyanins combine with tannins during fermentation the result is the velvety, opulent texture one associates with the best malbecs. It is one of the chief reasons for the difference between the Argentine malbecs and the firmer, drier versions from the grape’s natural home at Cahors in south-west France.

Salta province, more than 1,000 kilometres north of Mendoza, also makes very fine malbec and other reds at altitudes over 1,500 metres, but is also the heartland of torrontés production in Argentina. This cross between país and muscat is a source of wonderfully aromatic and fresh white wines. Many vines here are pergola trained, allowing the grapes to hang down beneath the canopy, shaded from the sun to prevent burning.

Soils throughout Argentina’s wine regions vary: alluvial soils such as gravel, silts sand and clay are common around Mendoza and in the Rio Negro area in Patagonia, Argentina’s other major wine-producing area.

Rio Negro is also a semi-desert area, far from the cooling effects of altitude in the Andes and the sea, which is 500 kilometres to the east. The Rio Negro, meaning ‘black river’, runs east on a glacial bed that lies beneath the arid plateau. The waters of the river irrigate the area via channels initially built by British engineers in 1828. Frost is a major risk here and it is not unusual to see the smudge pots often used in Chablis employed in the vineyards of Rio Negro. Soils are varied but generally alluvial with some limestone cropping up amongst the pebbles

A wide range of grape varieties are cultivated in the Rio Negro and, apart from one or two exceptions, the region has yet to earn the reputation for quality that Mendoza and the other mountain vineyards have achieved.
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Bodegas Weinert

Founded in 1975 by Bernardo Weinert, a Brazilian businessman of German origin, Cavas de Weinert has gone on to become one of highest-acclaimed wineries in Argentina. Bernardo invested heavily from the start, determined to make a top-quality wine in the best way possible, and this ethos persists to this day.

His red wines are noticeable for being aged 2-5 years, and sometimes longer, in old foudres in a deep, cool, granite cellar. Over time the brash fruit softens, mellows and develops the tertiary aromas of leather, tobacco and cedar. These wines have a certain similarity to other long-aged wines like traditional Riojas and Lebanon’s Château Musar.

After exhaustive research and study, Bernardo chose to establish his estate at at Lujan de Cuyo, one of the areas best known for top-quality wines in Argentina’s famous Mendoza province. The climate here is ideal for viticulture, with low levels of frost, hail and wind, plenty of sunshine, and a good water supply both from the surrounding rivers and from melting snow high up in the nearby Andes mountains.

There are 40 hectares of vines in total, which lie at over 850 metres above sea level. The mineral-rich soils here – a mixture of alluvial rock and sand – are particularly suited to the French varieties Bernardo chose to plant between 1986 and 1992. These consist of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, gamay, chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, and of course there is plenty of malbec, the grape most associated with Argentine...
Founded in 1975 by Bernardo Weinert, a Brazilian businessman of German origin, Cavas de Weinert has gone on to become one of highest-acclaimed wineries in Argentina. Bernardo invested heavily from the start, determined to make a top-quality wine in the best way possible, and this ethos persists to this day.

His red wines are noticeable for being aged 2-5 years, and sometimes longer, in old foudres in a deep, cool, granite cellar. Over time the brash fruit softens, mellows and develops the tertiary aromas of leather, tobacco and cedar. These wines have a certain similarity to other long-aged wines like traditional Riojas and Lebanon’s Château Musar.

After exhaustive research and study, Bernardo chose to establish his estate at at Lujan de Cuyo, one of the areas best known for top-quality wines in Argentina’s famous Mendoza province. The climate here is ideal for viticulture, with low levels of frost, hail and wind, plenty of sunshine, and a good water supply both from the surrounding rivers and from melting snow high up in the nearby Andes mountains.

There are 40 hectares of vines in total, which lie at over 850 metres above sea level. The mineral-rich soils here – a mixture of alluvial rock and sand – are particularly suited to the French varieties Bernardo chose to plant between 1986 and 1992. These consist of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, gamay, chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, and of course there is plenty of malbec, the grape most associated with Argentine wines. When necessary, Weinert also sources some of its fruit from other small producers with which it has long-term relationships.

Weinert are famous for their 1977 vintage, made by the famous winemaker Raoul de la Mota. It was their first vintage and the reason why it was so good was because, as the cellar was not finished, Bernardo had to delay the harvest and the extra ripening made a great wine. Today much of the success of the wines is due to winemaker Hubert Weber. He is Swiss, with a Germanic sense of order and an Italian passion for wine. After the grapes have been harvested by hand, fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled cement tanks, and the wines are then aged in French oak foudres (large oak barrels) in Weinert’s underground cellars, which benefit from ideal levels of humidity and temperature.

Part of the style of Weinert’s red wines is a mature, sometimes slightly more or less animally character. Part of this comes from a yeast called brettanomyces. In small concentrations it adds an interesting and appealing ‘farmyard’ character, but in excess it can spoil a wine. This yeast character is carefully controlled by Hubert to be present but not dominant.

The best-known wine is Cavas de Weinert, a blend made only in the best years from 40% malbec, 40% cabernet and 20% merlot aged about 3-4 years in foudres. Its younger sibling is Carrascal, made from a similar blend but aged for less time. There are other single-varietal wines released: merlot, cabernet sauvignon and malbec. The top wines are called Estrella, meaning ‘star’, which explains the star on the label. These are wines from the very best vintages, kept 3-10 years in foudres, and released when ready for drinking.
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