Although Argentina is best known internationally for its full-bodied Malbecs, it is more often Argentina’s old vine Cabernet Sauvignons that garner the greatest scores and provide the grandest red wines to grace the tables of the great steak houses of Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Casarena’s Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a prime example, having garnered 94 points from The Wine Advocate’s Luis Gutierrez. This deeply colored Cabernet Sauvignon hails from old vines, which imbue this wine with New World vivacity and Old World charm. A striking aroma redolent with the savory scents of currants, dark cherries, cedar and coffee makes for a striking first impression. In the mouth, this young Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t disappoint, either, offering up a complex blend of berry fruit, tobacco leaf and subtle spices, all of which are carried on a stream of balanced, well-integrated tannins. Casarena’s 2015 Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon finishes with authority and length, further bolstering our favorable first impression. Drink now through 2025. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest an hour of aeration in a decanter before serving at cool room temperature (60º F).
In Argentina, there would be little doubt as to the proper accompaniment to Casarena’s 2015 Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, or for that matter to any high quality Cabernet or Malbec. It would be beef, beef, and more beef, but in the case of the Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet, we think not just any cut of beef. Our preferences lie with Prime Rib au jus, Grilled Filet Mignon, and Beef Tenderloin encrusted with black pepper and herbs. Grilled Stuffed Veal Chops served with roasted Red Bliss potatoes and root vegetables also provide wonderful companions to Casarena’s sophisticated 2015 Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Rack of Lamb and savory pork roasts make fine accompaniments as well. Soft cow’s milk cheeses also pair splendidly with the Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet, and they provide the ideal accompaniment to showcase the wine’s complex flavors. Buen Provecho!
Casarena is a young boutique winery that enjoys a well-deserved reputation for producing wines of uncompromising quality at all levels of its portfolio. In a land of extremes and in a viticultural region known equally for oceans of cheap, hunky, one-dimensional wines as well as expensive, complex, full-bodied masterpieces, Casarena shines as a beacon of quality and value. Situated in Mendoza’s premier viticultural areas of Agrelo and Lujan de Cuyo, Casarena’s ultimate goal is to become Mendoza’s greatest vineyard project. Casarena utilizes Mendoza’s finest terroirs at differing elevations to produce world class wines.
Eno Rolland (renowned Bordeaux oenologist Michel Rolland’s team of consultants) initially oversaw the vinification at Casarena, leading to Casarena’s definitive mantra: “less quantity, more quality.” Casarena’s current winemaker, Mariano Quiroga Adamo, has taken Casarena’s wines to even greater heights. Mariano Quiroga Adamo learned his craft at Catena Zapata and later at El Porvenir in Salta under the guidance of world-renowned oenologist Paul Hobbs. All of the grapes for Casarena’s wines come from the estate’s own vineyards and the resulting wines are made by controlling every aspect of the vinification process. Casarena sets high standards for its wines. It sells in bulk any juice that does not come up to its standards in order to maintain the consistency, quality and integrity of the wine sold as Casarena – a rarity in Argentina and elsewhere.
The Casarena line of wine hails from carefully selected parcels of vineyards that have been aged in 100% new French Oak. And only small batches of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Malbec with intense color and aromatics qualify as Estate Reserve or Single Vineyard offerings. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Malbec constitute the lion’s share of the estate’s production. With a limited bottling (only 150 cases imported to the U.S.), the Casarena Owen’s Vineyard serves as the winery’s flagship Cabernet offering. All of the grapes for the Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon emanate from a tiny high altitude plot that was planted in the 1930s, and whose vines average more than 85 years of age. Much of the estate’s Malbec also comes from parcels of old vines that Casarena purchased shortly after founding the winery.
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