Luca Malbec 2011
Malbec from Argentina, South America
This is a great example of Mendoza Malbec. Incredible color—could use it in an inkwell! Loads of spice and black cherry cola aromas with notes of cocoa. 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 finish. A bottom note of freshly brewed espresso keeps the mouth watering too.
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 2011 Luca Malbec comes from three vineyards in the Uco Valley in Altamira, La Consulta and Gualtallary that have an average age of 46 years. It is aged for 16 months in French oak (60% new). It has a floral bouquet of wild strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb and a touch of Hoi Sin that is well-defined. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, dry tannins on the entry that lend this Malbec a "classic" feel. It is very well-balanced and harmonious, with light strawberry, balsamic and pomegranate notes on the minerally finish. This is a superb Malbec."
International Wine Cellar - "Full bright ruby. Sexy aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, cassis and violet, plus a hint of caramel oak. Dense, creamy and concentrated; in a sweet style but nicely integrated acidity gives it balance. Finishes with tooth-saturating tannins, a hint of torrefaction and sneaky length. I'd drink this one before the Beso de Dante owing to its early sweetness."
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
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.
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