The Food Maven Diary
Wine Buy: Navarro Correas Cabernet Sauvignon
This week's Wine Buy proves that some bottles definitely do need "to breathe," as the wine geeks tell us.
When I first opened the Navarro Correas Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 I must admit I was disappointed. It was "tight," meaning not giving up its fruity charms and other character. It was puckery with tanin. It was not at all enjoyable. Carol Berman, our trustworthy sommelier, assured me, however, that I would love this wine after I gave it a chance "to open up." Poured into my glass in the radio studio, swirled around to increase its contact with the air, it didn't take long. It is actually very interesting to have a wine like this in front of you. In a matter of minutes, the wine started showing its true colors and I began to be impressed with this Argentinean Cabernet Sauvignon. After a half hour in the glass, it became a terrifically balanced wine with a very aromatic bouquet. I could detect cherries immediately, but had a little trouble smelling the cassis (currants) that Carol swore were also present. This wine starts extremely smooth and finishes full of peppery spice.
From the town of Maipu in the famous Argentine wine region of Mendoza, this week's bottle is made by the oldest producer of Cabernets in Argentina. The label warns "Limited Release," although Carol assures us that those words mean it is made to stringent standards, not that there isn't enough to go around.
At $12.99 a bottle, this wine rivals Cabernets of a much higher price category. I would love to drink this with Argentina's favorite food – steak – or any beef dish, including that traditional South American favorite, a thin cutlet of beef, breaded and fried, then topped with chimichurri, the Argentine green sauce, or a tomato salsa. Sean Brady, my assistant, tasted the wine and thought of a baked potato, split and filled with a mixture of Italian sausage, cheese, and hot peppers. I'll drink to that.