Mapema Primera Zona Malbec 2007
Malbec from Argentina, South America
Black velvet in the glass, the layer of flavors begins with ripe black cherry and boysenberry and continues with a touch of smoke and spice. It achieves that elusive combination of concentration, complexity and finesse. Great with foods like veal chops, duck with fruit sauces, beef, lamb, grilled or roasted chicken, and game birds.
Wine Spectator - "Big and flashy, with a large core of crushed currant and blackberry fruit enlivened by a nice tangy hint of damson plum. Plenty of spice and licorice notes fill out the muscular finish. Should settle in nicely with modest cellaring. Malbec. Drink now through 2011."
Wine Enthusiast - "From longtime Catena winemakers Mariano de Paola and Pepe Galante, this is a deep, black-fruited Malbec with a cushioned bouquet, violet notes and delightful blackberry character. The palate is deep, juicy, healthy and balanced, and the finish is smooth and offers a whiff of coconut. Solid, serious and good now through 2013."
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright ruby-red. Brooding aromas of black cherry, menthol and licorice, lifted by violet. Densely packed and fine-grained but a bit youthfully tight, with fresh acidity contributing to the impression of vinosity. But there's also lovely subtle sweetness here. Finishes with a fine dusting of tannins and good length. A subtle and stylish version of Argentine malbec. The fruit comes from the primera zona vineyards of the Tupungato and La Consulta districts."
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We hear a lot about terroir and soils, but there is no substitute for a great team in winemaking, from the guys who prune to those who clean the barrels. Mariano di Paola has known this for decades, and as one of Mendoza's "Deans of Winemaking", he has built a long history of collaboration.
If you've met Mariano, you know that his greeting is like a big bear hug. If you work for him, you know that this hug extends to his every day dealings. Mariano makes sure his team enjoys lunch with him every day, including regular tastings of his high-end wines, and he makes sure they have wine for their homes at the end of every month. After all, they’re the ones who help make it happen! His Christmas parties are legendary and include everyone’s extended families (up to 400 people some years!). Take the expertise and experience of a great winemaker (Ma = Mariano) who sources the best possible grapes in Mendoza, wrap them around dedicated people (pe = people), and you’ve got incredible ma-pe-ma wines. View all Mapema Wines
About ArgentinaView a map of Argentina wineries (ahr-jen-TEE-nah)
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.