Luca Malbec 2010
Malbec from Argentina, South America
This is a great example of Mendoza Malbec. Incredible color—could use it in an inkwell! Lavender, spice and black cherry cola aromas with notes of cocoa and wood smoke. The berry flavors really pop on the palate as the wine has both good depth and very lively acidity that leads to an incredibly long fruit-filled finish. A bottom note of freshly brewed espresso keeps the mouth watering too. This one is a teenager at the moment, and should age very well (and not talk back when you don't give it the car keys!). Pairs well with foods such as venison or wild game, steak, pork, quail, all types of lamb, and medium-strong cheeses. A very flexible wine due to its concentration and balance.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2010 Malbec (100%) was sourced from 46-year-old vines and spent 16 months in 60% new French oak. It offers up an inviting nose of exotic spices, incense, cherry cola, wood smoke, and black cherry. On the palate it opens to reveal a plush, moderately structured Malbec that will benefit from another 2-3 years of bottle age. Drink this lengthy, seamless effort from 2013 to 2022."
International Wine Cellar - "Good ruby-red. Crushed dark berries and chocolatey oak on the nose, lifted by a mineral element. Sweet, velvety and inviting, with harmonious acidity and underlying minerality enlivening the dark berry, coffee bean and chocolate flavors. Very rich and sweet without being too much. Still, I'd drink this very showy wine on the young side."
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 & 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.
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