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Lunta Malbec 2010

Malbec from Argentina
  • W&S92
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Intense fruity aromas of raspberry, plum, blackberry and cassis immediately greet you upon first sniff. These explosive fruit notes continue on the palate of this light-bodied, easy to drink Malbec. Soft tannins give way to a long finish making this wine enjoyable on its own or paired with roast pork or lamb spareribs.

Critical Acclaim

W&S 92
Wine & Spirits

Scents of violets lead into a strong heart of cherry and mineral flavor in this untamed malbec, intensely red in its fruit and powerful in its tannins. A young wine—almost electric in its energy—with a great future ahead, Lunta is Mendel’s simplest malbec, grown at a vineyard planted in 1928.

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The grapes for the 2010 Lunta Malbec were sourced from 82-year-old ungrafted vines located on the southernmost parcel of the Mendel Vineyard and the wine was made at the Mendel winery. Made in a more forward style than the Mendel offerings, it spent 12 months in French oak (65%) and 35% in stainless steel prior to bottling without fining or filtration. It offers up an alluring bouquet of Asian spices, incense, lavender, and black cherry. Plush, ripe, and pleasure-bent on the palate, this crowd-pleaser is meant for drinking over the next 6 years.

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Lunta
Lunta, , South America
Lunta
Lunta Malbec comes from the southernmost parcel of the Mendel estate vineyard which lies in Lunlunta, a small district within Mendoza's Lujan de Cuyo department as you approach the Mendoza River. These vines produce a fruitier, more medium-bodied wine as compared to the well-structured Mendel Malbec, and it can be enjoyed at a younger age.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

STC858137_2010 Item# 116747

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