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Cruz Andina Malbec 2008

Malbec from Argentina
  • WE92
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Cruz Andina is a Malbec based blend that represents the unique character of high altitude and old vines from Mendoza. The wine expresses Malbec's exceptional concentration with a soft, supple texture. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Bonarda are blended for complexity, structure and delicate mouthfeel. The old-vine fruit, Alvaro Espinoza's minimalist approach to winemaking and sensibility for elegant wines were the perfect fit for the style of Malbec we desired to produce.

Critical Acclaim

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

A big, ripe and pure Malbec with gorgeous berry aromas setting up a lush, yummy palate that pumps forth chewy, delicious blackberry, vanilla and chocolate flavors. Finishes warm and oaky: from a mediocre vintage, it's impressive. From the chilean Huneeus family and top-flight winemaker/consultant Alvaro Espinoza.

WS 91
Wine Spectator

Rich, with lots of ripe, spicy blackberry, currant and boysenberry fruit layered with enticing black licorice and vibrant spice notes, followed by a winey finish.

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Cruz Andina

Cruz Andina

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Cruz Andina, , South America
Cruz Andina
Legendary vintner Agustin Huneeus has partnered with Carlos Pulenta, a third generation vintner of Mendoza's Pulenta family, and winemaker Alvaro Espinoza to produce Cruz Andina Malbec, his first properietary wine fom Argentina. The partnership combines Agustin Huneeus' long quest to produce unique wines from special places, along with Carlos' vast knowledge of malbec and his inside vision of Mendoza appellations. Alvaro collaborates with Cruz Andina in every aspect of the wine, from site selection and canopy management in the vineyard to determining the final blend.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux White Blends

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Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added interest. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington, and Australia.

In the Glass

Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime, and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex, and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile, and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of noble rot, can have lush stone fruit and honey character.

Perfect Pairings

Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil, and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras, or fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but smart sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during, or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico or oysters with a spicy mignonette, or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce, or even fried chicken.

SWS164104_2008 Item# 109144

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