2014 Casarena 505 Esencia Red Blend, Mendoza, Argentina (Guía Peñin 91)

The 2014 Casarena 505 Esencia Red Blend from Mendoza, Argentina is a fantastic wine for one person to drink while watching a movie. This wine rewards patience as it doesn't get going until it has been decanted for 35+ minutes and continues to evolve and impress more and more between 45 minutes and an hour and a half after opening. At 7-10 minutes, the initial nose offers dried mint, tobacco, steely minerality, and a mix of red and black cherry compote. At 15-minutes, toasty oak emerges on the nose. 5 minutes later, whiffs of roasted coffee beans and plum skins add dimension. At 35 minutes, the cherry fruits are becoming juicy, and the plum skins are picking up fleshiness signaling the beginning of the drinking window. By 45 minutes, the cherry flavors are becoming sweet with air (wine is dry) as delivered on the 30+ second finish. There's an interesting spicy minerality with cracked black pepper and hints of bell peppers.     After an hour, the Esencia has become delicious delivering a lush melange of cherries with fine powdery tannins. At an hour and fifteen minutes, this wine really starts delivering sappy red cherries such as sweet red Twizzlers licorice (wine is dry) with lavender accents. This wine has more than ample structure as the wood presence is such that it will compliment fatty cuts of beef such as Ribeye perfectly. At this point, I can go a tick higher than Guía Peñin's 91 point score. At just $13.87, this is a fantastic value for those who show patience in making this wine an event.

- Tasho Katsaboulas