K&L Wine Merchants - Header

96 Point, Sub-$15 Cabernet from Petrus Winemaker - 04/18/2017 - Argentina

This is a drop-what-you-are-doing kind of offer. We’ve promoted some remarkable values from Tapiz in the past, but this one is truly exceptional. Earning 96 points and priced at a mere $14.99, the 2014 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cab is the kind of screaming value that’s simply too good to pass. Cabernets of this quality don’t come along often and when they do they are never so temptingly priced. If there’s one wine you load up on for your everyday red, let this be the one.

Tapiz is among our favorite wineries in Argentina and with the addition of the winemaking talents of Jean Claude Berrouet (of Chateau Petrus) in 2012, we’ve seen the quality climb to an even higher level. So not only do you have a winery of an impeccable pedigree, but you also have the rarefied talents of one of the world’s most renowned winemakers. Given this combination you’d think the wines would be priced in the $40 to $50 range at a minimum, but remarkably this 2014 Cab can be had for a fraction of that. Only 4500 cases of this high altitude Cab were produced, but thankfully we were able to secure a solid allocation. Nonetheless, when a value as good as this comes along it always flies of our shelves. As James Suckling’s review emotes, there’s “so much here” as this classic South American Cab is power-packed, with loads of dark fruits and a seamless structure. A wonderful hybrid style of Old World and New World it offers a lush palate, but not at the expense of depth and structure. Cab lovers of all stripes will be more than impressed with this sterling effort. Do get the jump on this one now as there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to get more once it’s gone.

Staff Image

2014 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza ($14.99)

96 points James Suckling: "A wine with lots of depth and fruit now with dark berry and dark chocolate character. Full body, velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. So much here. Give it four to five years bottle age. Great wine." (05/2016)

91 points Wine & Spirits: "Cabernets spice and mint notes mix here with deep cassis flavor. Its tender, with enough depth for long-cooked meat and with tense acidity from its Andean origen in San Pablo, one of the highest areas planted to vines in Valle de Uco." (02/2017)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Alta Collection Cabernet Sauvignon was very fresh and subtle, with perfectly integrated oak, I'd say a European profile gravitating towards elegance and finesse. Very good for what it is. 54,000 bottles produced. Tapiz has a new winery in San Pablo, and all the wines now are from Valle de Uco, mostly San Pablo; all I tasted this time was from there. In the past, it was a little confusing, as the wines were produced in the same winery as Zolo, as the owners are the same. Jean-Claude Berrout and his son, of Petrus fame, are consultants here (and a little in Zolo too). The wines are improving from vintage to vintage.(LG)" (12/2016)

Wine Spectator: "A taut and muscular red, with dark currant, black olive and dried meat flavors that feature notes of dried mint and sage. The tannic finish has smoky accents. Drink now through 2018" (10/2016)

K&L Notes: Tapiz is one of the most renowned and awarded Argentine wineries, made even more famous by the addition of winemaker Jean Claude Berrouet in 2012, recently retired from Petrus after 44 vintages at the revered Bordeaux chateau. To celebrate his addition to the team, Tapiz created a new "Alta Collection" line of wines using fruit that comes solely from Tapiz's sustainably farmed San Pablo vineyard in the Uco Valley. San Pablo is one of the highest altitude vineyards in Mendoza (4,600 feet above sea level). This extreme altitude provides for warm days which impart concentration to the grapes, and cold nights which give natural acidity.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 20, 2017

Sub $15 Cab is plentiful. In fact, Cabernet at any price point is the most common request we here at K&L get. Cult cab, value cab, cab with bottle age...these are all questions we are well equipped to handle. That said, if you were to ask us for 96 point, pure varietal Cabernet for under $20, prior to this year, we would have had nothing for you. Of course this year, that all changed. So what does the Tapiz taste like? It''s good. Plenty of red fruits and hints of eucalyptus, coastal forest aromas on the nose (those who love hiking on the Marin and Sonoma Coasts will feel right at home) lead to a juicy palate which suggests younger vine fruit, but with a poise and structure lacking in most other $15 Cabs that I've had. That's it. Is it life changing? World beating? We'll let you decide. But is it fairly priced, tasty and varietally true Cab? Absolutely.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 15, 2017

I think the shocking part for me about the Tapiz Alta Cabernet is how subdued and Bordeaux-like it is. Normally when we see highly-pointed, bargain-priced Cabernet from the Southern Hemisphere it's in a fruit bomb style or it's oaked to holy hell. This wine is neither. At 13.9%, this is a lower alcohol, cooler climate style of Cab that drinks like something in between St. Estephe and Napa. Rarely do I say to customers "you should buy that fourteen dollar Cabernet to lay down in your cellar," but in the case of the Tapiz this is honestly a sub-$20 bottle that should only get better. Right out of the bottle you can feel the structure on your gums, the hints of earth and tobacco that penetrate through the soft and supple texture of the wine. Fans of both the old and new world styles should be pleased. Fans of inexpensive Tuesday night meatloaf Cab will want to load up big.

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 14, 2017

I admit I dont have a lot of experience with Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina. In fact, I was surprised to learn that it is the third most widely planted red wine grape after Malbec and Bonarda. What did seem familiar to me was the almost Bordeaux like restraint I found in this 2014 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza. The consulting winemaker here is Jean-Claude Berrouet, who made wine on behalf of the Mouiex family at Chateau Petrus in Pomerol and at Dominus in Napa Valley. His deft touch is easy to see in the modest 13.9% alcohol, the perfumed nose, and in the bright red and black fruits that speak of Cabernet. Lovely notes of fresh-picked raspberry here with a hint of bitter chocolate on the structured finish.

Staff ImageRalph Sands | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 14, 2017

Mr. Suckling's note is right on the money, but I think the wine drinks beautifully right now with just a bit of air. Very tasty!

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 14, 2017

This big, ripe powerful Cabernet will thrill fans of Napa wines. It is loaded with cassis fruit, and has plenty of tannic structure on the back end. This is excellent for drinking right now for fans of the big Cabernet style, and priced for any old night. Similar quality from Napa would cost a lot more than twice as much!

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 14, 2017

96 points! $14.99...Wow...I was skeptical as you might be...but this bottle actually delivers. It's very pure fruited, has true varietal character and has excellent balance and poise. It's not over-ripe (13.9% Alc), over-extracted or over-oaked. A quaffable Cab that is sure to be a winner with this combination of points, price and quality to boot.