L10 by Valentin Bianchi Premium Malbec 2011
Leo Premium Malbec is dark red in color. It has luscious, intense fruit aromas of mature plums and cherries with intense spice that is enhanced by the oak. This palate is complex and robust. This wine is elegant with mature tannins that lead to a long and silky finish.
The Messi foundation helps children with social disadvantages to improve their quality in life through education, medical assistance and sports. Donations from each wine sale goes to their foundation.
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In Collaboration with the Messi Foundation, Valentin Bianchi presents L10 wines, honoring the
Argentine soccer super-star. Proceeds from the sale of L10 wines will help fund health and educational
initiatives for disadvantaged children.
Bodegas Valentin Bianchi is a fourth generation, family-owned Argentine winery founded in 1928 (and is
among the oldest Argentine wineries still owned by the same family). It is renowned for traditional
Argentine wines. After almost a century of hard work and success, Valentin Bianchi still shines with the
legacy of the family, seeking to keep alive its passion for wine, crossing borders via export to most of the
world, and constantly exploring new horizons, on both the winemaking and marketing sides of the
Bianchi wines encompass the exponents of the best terroirs of Argentina, with a philosophy that
encourages a constant exploration for the ideal terroir for each wine. Then winery’s philosophy is to find
the unique and unparalleled aspects of each one of its estates to interpret the vine’s intent and provide
the market with variety and excellence in each and every wine they produce.
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, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source 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 that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, 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 originated in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it continued to flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. A French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. But it did not gain its current reputation as the country's national grape until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century.
In the Glass
Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of blackberry, plum and licorice, appropriately backed by aromas of freshly turned earth and dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, Malbec will be intensely ripe, and full of fruit and spice. From its homeland in Cahors, its rusticity shines; dusty notes and a beguiling bouquet of violets balance rich, black fruit.
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.
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.