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Luca Malbec 2013

Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
  • JS93
  • RP91
14% ABV
  • JS93
  • WE92
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP93
  • WW93
  • JS93
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WS90
  • WS89
  • RP89
  • WS89
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3.9 25 Ratings
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3.9 25 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Blend: 100% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

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JS 93
James Suckling
Beautiful aromas of blackberry, black licorice and spice follow through to a full body, with ultra-fine tannins and a blueberry, dark chocolate and light nut aftertaste.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Malbec comes from two old vineyards in La Consulta (Rosas and Paganoto) and some 30% from Gualtallary in the Uco Valley. It has a nose of smoke and peat intermixed with violets, plums and dark cherries. The palate has a fine texture shaped by sweet, round tannins and good freshness. This is a very tasty Malbec.
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Luca
Luca, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
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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.

Uco Valley

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With a winning combination of cool weather, high elevation, and well-draining soil, it is no surprise that Mendoza’s Uco Valley is one of the most exciting up-and-coming wine regions in Argentina. Healthy, easy-to-manage vines produce low yields of high-quality fruit, which in turn create flavorful, full-bodied wines with generous acidity.

This is the source of some of the best Malbec in Mendoza, which can range from value-priced to ultra-premium. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay also perform well here.

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.

RWC253643_2013 Item# 148629