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The Philosophy

2014 Australia Langhorne Creek, Clare Valley, Eden Valley, South Eastern Australia
91 Points

Although the extremely heavy bottle is still difficult to get past in the age of climate change, this vintage of McGuigan's premium red blend is holding up better than the previous one, even if signs of age are start-ing to creep in. The nose offers rich, ripe aromas of blueberry, cassis and plum which are starting to raisin and fade just a touch. They’re backed by dried mint, sage and peppery spice, and a slightly synthetic, perfumed soap note. Things improve on the palate, which is granular in texture, with a bright line of acidity and a firm grip of fine savory tannins. Drink 2021–2028. —C.P.

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Wine Enthusiast January 2020
The Philosophy

Cabernet Sauvignon

2017 Argentina Mendoza
86 Points
Best Buy

Minty notes are part of a standard plum and berry nose that’s spicy and a touch scratchy. Speaking of scratchy, this Cab feels edgy, while herbal green notes blend into greater raspberry flavors. A short finish is fresh and plays up the wine’s red-fruit  flavors. Palm Bay International. Best Buy. —M.S. 

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Wine Enthusiast January 2020
Cabernet Sauvignon

Single Vineyard Malbec Los Basaltos Estate

2015 Argentina Mendoza
91 Points

A deep color with violet rims and ripe berry, cassis, chocolate and vanilla aromas open this Gualallary single-vineyard Malbec. A full and fleshy body holds ripe berry flavors that tilt in the direction of prune and raisin, while the finish is slightly soft and raisiny but in the end quite tasty. Drink now. Palm Bay  International. —M.S. 

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Wine Enthusiast January 2020
Single Vineyard Malbec Los Basaltos Estate

Primum Malbec

2015 Argentina Mendoza
93 Points

A saturated purple color and concentrated aromas of blackberry, cassis, prune and vanilla lead to a lush, pure palate that’s ripe but balanced. Deep plum, blackberry, cassis and raisin flavors are full and delicious, while this Malbec pours on the spice notes on the rich finish. Drink through 2026. Palm Bay International. —M.S. 

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Wine Enthusiast January 2020
Primum Malbec

The Philosophy

2014 Australia Langhorne Creek, Clare Valley, Eden Valley, South Eastern Australia
92 Points

Dense and burly, with concentrated blackberry, black currant, toffee, huckleberry, clove and espresso flavors, supported by thick, velvety tannins. Features a tremendous sense of power and focus, showing plenty of oomph on the long, expressive finish. The tannins are firm and toothsome, but complement the intensity of the flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Drink now through 2034. 1,200 cases made, 180 cases imported. —MW

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Wine Spectator December 2019
The Philosophy

Single Vineyard Malbec Los Basaltos Estate

2015 Argentina Mendoza
91 Points

Bright medium ruby. Aromas of cassis, licorice, cocoa powder and dark chocolate; some obvious oak showing. Dense, sweet, slightly inky dark berry and bitter chocolate flavors are accented by violet and minerals. Started tighter and a bit more aggressive than the San Pablo Estate Malbec but showed building pliancy and subtle sweetness with aeration. The tannins are quite firm, further evidence that this wine will need time to harmonize and knit. But the youthful, palate-staining finish shows lovely rising length.

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Vinous September 2019
Single Vineyard Malbec Los Basaltos Estate

Single Vineyard Malbec La Pampa Estate

2016 Argentina Mendoza
93 Points

Bright, saturated medium ruby. Precise, perfumed scents of black raspberry, blackberry, licorice, violet, tropical dark chocolate and minerals. Juicy, densely packed and powerfully mineral, projecting terrific savory thrust and energy to its black fruit, licorice and bitter chocolate flavors. Offers a very attractive combination of chocolatey ripeness and brisk, savory mineral and herb notes from a cool year, with no easy sweetness at all. This penetrating, chalky, highly nuanced wine finishes with a firm tannic spine and terrific subtle length and lift. Still very unevolved and in need of patience. This is suaver and more refined than Salentein's single-vineyard Malbecs from 2015, suggesting gentler extraction and riper tannins. (from sandy loam soil with boulders and calcaire at an altitude of 1,300 meters)

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Vinous September 2019
Single Vineyard Malbec La Pampa Estate

Single Vineyard Malbec San Pablo Estate

2015 Argentina Mendoza
92 Points

Full medium ruby. Spicy lift to the black fruit and bitter chocolate aromas. Concentrated, dense and dry, with black fruit flavors framed by minerality and pungent wild peppery herbs. Less plush but more aromatic than the El Tomillo Estate Malbec, with a rising finish that shows a lighter touch. Finishes with almost painful intensity and excellent lift, the tannins saturating the tongue. This savory, chocolatey midweight has lovely potential but will it ever match the El Tomillo for nuance?

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Vinous September 2019
Single Vineyard Malbec San Pablo Estate

Single Vineyard Malbec El Tomillo Estate

2015 Argentina Mendoza
93 Points

Saturated medium ruby. Fascinating if borderline-inky scents of crushed blackberry, dark raspberry, bitter chocolate and wild herbs. Then surprisingly supple, plush and fine-grained in the mouth, displaying an almost exotic floral/spicy quality and enticing sweetness to its redcurrant and spiced cherry flavors. Builds impressively on the firmly tannic but suave finish, which is more savory than sweet and impressively long. Plusher and sweeter than the 2016 Single Vineyard Malbec La Pampa Estate but without quite that wine's definition or personality. And a bit more red fruit in character.

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Vinous September 2019
Single Vineyard Malbec El Tomillo Estate

Numina

2016 Argentina Mendoza
93 Points

Bright red-ruby. Dark, vibrant aromas of violet, blackberry and licorice, complemented by a note of chocolatey oak. Supple and vinous on entry, then fine-grained, suave and concentrated in the middle palate, with lovely mineral energy framing the flavors of dark berries, black plum, spices and licorice. Wonderfully silky and concentrated but with a sexy restrained sweetness and terrific inner-mouth lift and sappiness. Has the juiciness of the vintage's better examples as well as its fine-grained tannins. Finishes subtly long and alive. This blend is still rather laid-back and built for a slow and graceful evolution in bottle.

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Vinous September 2019
Numina

Reserve Malbec

2017 Argentina Mendoza
90 Points

Bright ruby-red. Pungent scents of cassis, blueberry and violet, plus a whiff of bitter chocolate. Plush, densely packed, very youthful wine with a restrained sweetness and excellent intensity and vinosity. Sexy dark chocolate and tobacco notes add interest to the dark fruit and spicy oak flavors, with harmonious balancing acidity keeping the wine fresh. Finishes with firm but suave tannins and subtle rising length. Still a bit reticent, this will be better in a year.

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Vinous September 2019
Reserve Malbec

Primum Malbec

2016 Argentina Mendoza
93 Points

The 2016 Primus Malbec was produced with grapes from a cold and rainy year, mixing grapes from San Pablo, Los Árboles and Altamira. It fermented in 7,000-liter oak vats, and some 15% of the volume fermented in barriques followed by malolactic and 18 months of aging in French oak barrels. The idea is a blend of the zones, and from those they do a barrel selection. Truth is, the wine shows good balance and ripeness without excess; it reminded me of the single vineyard from Altamira, and it didn't have the excess ripeness I found in Gualtallary (in theory it didn't participate in the blend). It's serious and classical, powerful and concentrated, well oaked and with balance to develop nicely in bottle. It finishes long and tasty, with a salty twist. 25,320 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2017.

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Wine Advocate October 2019
Primum Malbec

Gran Vu Blend

2015 Argentina Mendoza
92 Points

The pricey 2015 Gran VU Blend is 62% Malbec and 38% Cabernet Sauvignon from their vineyards in the Valle de Uco (VU), Los Árboles and San Pablo. The Malbec fermented in new 225-liter French oak barrels with dry yeasts, and the Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in 7,000-liter oak vats with dry yeasts. Malolactic was in barrique, where the wine completed 24 months of aging. They were not able to do this luxury blend in 2014, a year with lots of rain at the end of the harvest when Cabernet Sauvignon suffered a lot. 2015 was not easy either, but they were more prepared after the experience in 2014. This is a classical, ripe and generously oaked red blend with power, concentration and clout. It has a generous palate with plenty of tannins. It needs powerful food. 12,000 bottles were filled in August 2017.

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Wine Advocate October 2019
Gran Vu Blend