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Ernesto Catena Malbec 2005

Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
    14% ABV
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    14% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    A wonderful red tone with violet reflections, clean and very bright. In the nose there is an explosion of cherry fruit, fresh raspberry and plum. Toasty scents and subtle hints of vanilla are indications of the wine's passage through small oak barrique. The entry in the mouth is juicy, filling up the sense of taste with an invasion of fruits, honey, a touch of caramel, and gentle notes of minerals and mint; further adding to the interesting character of this wine. I truly find myself in front of an exceptional Malbec, where the hands of the viticulturist and enologist are clearly expressed. There is no need to wait for this wine, as it is drinking so nicely at the moment.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Ernesto Catena

    Ernesto Catena Selections

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    Ernesto Catena Selections, Mendoza, Argentina
    2005 Malbec
    Ernesto Catena Selections are an expression of Ernesto Catena's intense passion for wine, Argentina, art, and life. A Mendoza native, Ernesto personally selects the fruit from the prestigious sites of Tupungato, La Consulta, Vistalflores, Altamira, Tunuyan in the Valle de Uco that is carefully crafted into wines of distinct character and typicity. Tahuan wines highlight Argentina's premier grape varieties, expressing seamless varietal character, enhanced by the microclimate of Mendoza. Structured and intense, Siesta wines capture the depth and complexity produced by the distinct combination of altitude, climate, and soil that define this exciting region which has been a great inspiration to international winemaking.

    By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

    For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

    Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

    In the Glass

    Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

    Perfect Parings

    Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

    Sommelier Secret

    If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

    PBC9044772_2005 Item# 99215