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VOL. 127 | NO. 34 | Monday, February 20, 2012



Skip to Spring With Robust Patagonia Red

FREDRIC KOEPPEL | Special to The Memphis News

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Shall we pretend that we had winter in our neck o’ the woods? Or shall we capitulate and fire up the grills? That’s how crazily mild a “winter” we’ve had. If you’re of a mind to toss on the coals and crank up the fire, I have a wine for you. Or if you’re braising short ribs or lamb shanks in the oven or on top of the stove, or doing barbecue brisket, the same wine is appropriate.

This is the Nemesio Winemaker’s Selection Blend 2009 from the Argentine region of Patagonia. The blend in question is 40 percent each cabernet sauvignon and merlot and 10 percent malbec, and at this point, if you have a summary knowledge of red wine, you’re thinking, “OK, sure, a Bordeaux-style blend that could come from just about anywhere,” but of course you’re keeping up with the addition and about to ask, “What’s the other 10 percent?”

That would be pinot noir, a grape purists think is a creature unto itself and shouldn’t be blended. In practice, that’s usually the case. But here, combined with these rough-n-ready, dense, chewy wines we have a few dollops of the elegant, ethereal, beguiling pinot noir. Does it provide anything in the way of character?

For Your Very Own Bottle

Buster’s Wine & Liquors
191 S. Highland St., $16
Wine Market
4734 Spottswood Ave., $16
Great Wines & Spirits
6150 Poplar Ave., $16

Perhaps it tames the wine a bit, because Nemesio Winemaker’s Selection Blend 2009 is a wild, robust, fleshy, smoky, meaty wine that’s not for the faint of heart. It smells like macerated black currants, blackberries and plums underlined by cloves, sandalwood and potpourri; it fills the mouth with ripe, spicy black fruit flavors bolstered by strapping tannins that for all their size feel soft and manageable, while zinging acidity and a large graphite-tinged mineral element provide structure.

Bring on the ribs!

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