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Luca Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Argentina
  • RP93
14.5% ABV
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • JS91
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • RP92
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4.4 8 Ratings
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4.4 8 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Beautiful garnet color with aromas of wild strawberries, saddle leather and cola root. A complex Pinot with notes of leather, spice, and cherry/raspberry confiture on the palate. Amazing aroma and finishes with an enjoyable Burgundian bent.

Pairs well with foods such as lamb chops, grilled salmon, roasted duck or chicken, and game birds. Pinot lovers may just go ahead and drink it all by itself!

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Catena has again hit a home run with her 2009 Pinot Noir (as she did in 2006, 2007, and 2008). There is very little Pinot Noir in Mendoza (Patagonia is the principal hope for Argentina Pinot Noir) so this streak is particularly impressive. The grapes are sourced from a relatively young vineyard at 4700 feet of elevation. The wine was aged for 12 months in 30% new oak and bottled without fining or filtration. Medium ruby in color, it offers up an alluring bouquet of cherry blossom, strawberry, raspberry, smoke, and incense. Velvety-textured with silky, layered fruit, complex flavors, and a lingering finish, this superb value (for Pinot Noir) will provide pleasure for another 6-8 years if not longer.

Luca is the personal project of Renaissance woman Laura Catena, M.D.

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Luca
Luca, 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.

Argentina

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With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.

Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white.

The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

RWC251093_2009 Item# 113046