Urraca - 2005 Familia Langley Reserva

Many well known wine regions make blends inspired by the well known examples that come out of Bordeaux. These can fall flat when the urracawinery in question is simply trying to imitate a style. However when a producer aspires to make the best blend possible with the fruit available to them, all the while showing off their terroir, they have a much better chance of hitting the mark. Today I'll look at the third wine from Urraca, which is a Bordeaux style blend. The 2005 Urraca Familia Langley Reserva is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (36%), Malbec (36%), Cabernet Franc (17%) and Merlot (11%). Oak aging was accomplished in a combination of French and American barrels over a period of 18 months. The suggested retail price for this offering is $72.

Leather, vanilla, dark brooding berry and hints of espresso bean are all present in the nose. Lots of plum, blueberry, and a host of dark, ripe, heady berry fruit are prominent throughout the full bodied palate along with plum pudding spice. Sweet dark chocolate notes, black tea, mineral, white pepper, cigar-box and ever emerging earth characteristics come together to form an impressively lengthy finish. This blend has chewy tannins, good acidity and excellent overall structure. Pair it with big, bold foods that can match it's combination of power and elegance. The blend may be made of Old World components, but this is very much a New World wine.

As was the case with the 2005 Primera this wine should be decanted for maximum enjoyment if you're going to drink it in the next couple of years. My advice however is to tuck this away in your cellar and forget about if for the next 5 years or so. Then dig it out and drink it sometime over the next 8-10 years. The Urraca wines I have had are all excellent, well made, "high end" offerings. There are a ton of well priced, well made wines coming from South America in general and Argentina specifically. many of these offer value, and sufficient complexity for everyday drinking. The wines from Urraca aim for a different goal, they shoot for greatness. These delicious, complex wines meet their goal. In my opinion these offerings stand with a handful of other Argentine producers as examples of the best wines they offer.

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