The 2005 Armador Cabernet from Odfjell Vineyards is just okay, but it falls in a price range where there are a lot of decent red wines to be had ($10.00-$14.00 US). It could be that TWC popped an off-bottle, because just about everyone in the wine business who knows their butt from breakfast seems be showering 90-92 points on this Cab. Not me.
My email insistently calls for TWC to assign numeric scores to wines I review. Even though I consistently refuse to do so, I'll give you a number for Armador. 87. Maybe 88, tops. What does that mean? It means just okay. It loosely works like this:
- 96-100 Perfect
- 93-95 Superb! Wow!
- 91-92 Excellent Wine-Often is Special Occasion Wine
- 88-90 Drinkable Every Day Wine
- 85-87 You Pay Your Money & You Take Your Chances
- 75-85 Boone's Farm
- 0-75 Thunderbird & Night Train
The Armador Cabernet suffers from an affliction common to inexpensive Chilean cabernets. One that certainly should be absent from a wine in this price range. That is a cloying sense of sticky sweet Marischino cherry on the nose and on the palate. It isn't overwhleming, yet it detracts from the rest of what's going on. Vigorous decanting might help. That's when you shake the heck out of the bottle and frothily pour it into your decanter. The entire point is to get the oxydation process jump started.
The second glass was better, but no matter, the wine didn't grab me. So I opened a bottle of 2005 Montes Alpha, another Chilean Cabernet. Nice. Very nice.
Armador's Tasting Notes.....
Ruby in color with an aura of violet. Following the characteristics of previous vintages, there are aromas of aniseed, vanilla, plums, figs, blueberries and the typical liquorice notes from Odfjell’s terroir. The distinctive facet is the palate; the 2005 vintage is a bigger, more concentrated, richer wine than previous years. The wine grows and evolves on the palate being both juicy and fresh. Fruit flavors and ripe tannins linger.
The Armador is an otherwise interesting wine from the Maipo valley and it may have tremendous potential.
The winery was founded by a Norwegian ex-pat shipmaker who fell in love with Chile and determined to make a go of the wine business. Pretty impressive to swap climates and cultures and also make a success of your second career.