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Luca Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Mendoza, Argentina
  • RP91
14% ABV
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • JS91
  • RP93
  • RP92
  • RP92
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14% 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 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 “G” Lot Pinot Noir is one of the best takes on the grape variety that I have found in Argentina. Sourced from ungrafted vines from Dijon clones cultivated in Gualtallary in Tupungato and aged for 12 months in French oak (30% new), it has a well-defined bouquet of strawberry, red currant and that elusive tincture of “Pinote.” The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy mouthfeel. It is nicely balanced with vibrant red cherries and strawberries, before finishing with a poised, crisp finish that is rounded; but if one were to quibble, it is missing a little persistency in the mouth. Still, this is a very fine take on the variety.
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Luca
Luca, 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.

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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

PSNRLC044_2011 Item# 128438