Union Suave — 2.60 of 5 palos — reviewed on 1/17/12
Region: Corrientes, Argentina
Producer: Establecimiento Las Marias
Establecimiento Las Marias are also the producers of La Merced, Mañanita, Caá Porá, and Taragüi mate. They are the largest producers of mate in the world. This mate, Unión, is quite smooth, but opens with a good amount of tart and lemon that is a bit astringent. Citrus notes are prevalent, leaving a light finish. This was the first mate that I truly fell in love with and identified myself with.
However, over past year, I have lost much interest in this mate. With a short cycle and overly lemony overtone, it’s no longer a go-to mate for me. This mate shows its true potential when it becomes semi-lavado (washed), displaying the true “suave” it’s marketed as. At this point, you’ll begin tasting some toast, roasted nuts, hazelnuts, and cinnamon. This mate stands on solid ground. It holds its own, for sure.
Cut: 3 palos
Good palo-to-polvo-to-leaf ratio (PPL-R), but a bit too much polvo. Nice light green yerba. Good size palos. Contains splinter palos.
Body/Texture: 3 palos
Light body. Watery, light texture. Very clean on the palate. Sharp notes, but smooths out in the mid palate, before finish. Astringent opening. Trident gum notes. Spearmint notes. Lemon hints.
Nose: 2.5 palos
Sharp, astringent nose. Lemon. Lime. Trident gum. Some rubber.
Finish: 2 palos
The finish is a bit rough and astringent, having the taste of chewed-out Trident mint gum. Not very pleasant. However, the mate becomes smoother as it begins to wash down, offering a rounder, more palatable, finish. This is a good mate to have long conversations with, due to the bearable washed taste that it offers.
Cycle: 2.5 palos
Short cycle. Though, the semi-washed to completely washed transition with this mate is quite pleasant and lasting.
Overall: 2.60 palos
Recommendation: Good beginner’s mate. Light on the palate and great for those that enjoy a citrus ting & zing! This mate rides the lemon train for a while, then smooths out into a nutty, well balanced, display if you’re patient. You may also appreciate Pipore and Playadito.