Luca Chardonnay 2009
Chardonnay from Argentina, South America
Beautiful pale-gold color with enticing aromas of lemon crème, baking spices and some notes of dulce de leche. The aromas carry through to the palate, and are joined by hints of tropical fruit, spiced baked pear, and a stony/mineral flavor that creates a stylish wine that seems part New and part Old World.
Pairs well with most fish, lobster, crab, chicken, and even many pork preparations. Particularly recommended with dishes using sautéed wild mushrooms or butter sauces. This wine will age well for years in a cellar.
The Wine Advocate - "The new releases include one white wine, the 2009 Chardonnay, always an outstanding value. It was barrel-fermented, went through full malolactic fermentation, and was aged sur lie for 14 months in 30% new French oak. Aromas of buttered popcorn, poached pear, and spiced apple inform the nose of a creamy-textured, spicy, ripe, medium-bodied wine. This nicely proportioned, lengthy effort will provide enjoyment over the next 4-5 years. "
International Wine Cellar - "Bright light yellow. Aromas of peach, apricot, nutmeg and flowers, complemented by oaky nuances (30% new). Fat, rich and sweet but with solid balancing acidity. A full-throttle fruit bomb with impressive depth and 3D texture, from a Gualtallary vineyard planted at 4,700 feet. The pH here is a very reasonable 3.2 in spite of the vines' long hang and a hint of botrytis."
Laura Catena is a fourth generation winemaker who grew up in a traditional Argentine-Italian winemaking family in Mendoza. Laura splits her time between Mendoza and San Francisco, California, where she is an emergency physician, university professor and occasional tango dancer. Laura had the vision of creating a new breed of Argentine wines: small quantities, artisan quality, and true to their individual terroirs. A pioneer of small-grower relations in Mendoza, Laura's incredible, limited production wines come from some of Argentina's best fruit from low-yield, high-elevation, family-owned vineyards. The wines are named after her children - Luca, Dante and Nicola - and the background of the label is the McDermott coat of arms of her American husband, Daniel McDermott. View all Luca Wines
Notable FactsUnlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.