Urraca - 2007 Familia Langley Reserva

It was just about a year ago that I first tasted the offerings from Argentine producer Urraca Wines. Since then I’ve gone back to them several times and been impressed each time with their overall portfolio. Their wines hit a different segment of the Argentine wine imports than most. Within the vast number of wines from Argentina, the majority on US shelves are value based. Some of those values are outstanding and provide quality and some are generic. What Urraca does from the get go is to aim higher. They start at a premium level and then also make super-premium offerings. So while the least expensive wine you’re going to find from them is in the mid to high teens, there is value to be had. Today I’m going to look at the current release of their flagship wine. This wine is certainly within the super-premium category. The question is does it still deliver value, or even a bargain, in its price point.

The Urraca 2007 Familia Langley Reserva is made using fruit from the Mendoza region of Argentina. The proprietary blend is composed of Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Malbec (30%), and Merlot (30%). Barrel aging was accomplished over 18 months in a combination of French and American oak. The suggested retail price for this wine is approximately $70.

A potpourri of dark berry aromas lead the exuberant nose of this 2007 blend. Blackberry and cherry (both red and black) intermingle along with lots of white pepper and hints of nutmeg throughout the palate of this selection. This wine has serious length. The impressive finish is marked my minerals, earth, black pepper and a hints of charcoal. This wine has firm tannins that soften in the glass. Excellent acidity provides the framework and keeps everything in check.

There are three things which I find equally impressive about this wine. First and quite importantly is its consistency. I was blown away by the 2005 version of this wine and was quite curious to see how the 2007 edition would stack up. Nothing to worry about there, the 2007 is every bit as impressive. The second thing that struck me is the tremendous level of even-keeled intensity that this wine displays from the first sip through the long finish. There are a lot of wines that hit you up front with big fruit and then the flavor drops as if it fell from a cliff. While this wine has little peaks and valleys, it manages to maintain a notable level of complex, layered and concentrated flavors throughout. The third thing that impresses me is the finish on the Familia Langley, which is noteworthy in length.

If you’re going to drink this wine in the short term, decanting for an hour or two is strongly recommended. However if you’re patient and can lay it down for a few years, you will be rewarded by a wine that will show plenty of positive evolution. Yes this wine is $70, and yes for that money it’s still, very much, an excellent value. It compares favorably to many blends from a number of regions of the world that hit the triple digit price point.

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