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Lunta Malbec 2011

Malbec from Argentina
  • WS89
  • RP88
14% ABV
  • WS88
  • W&S92
  • RP90
  • RP90
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14% ABV

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

All Vintages
WS 89
Wine Spectator
The 2011 Lunta Malbec, from Mayor Drummond in Lujan de Cuyo, comes from 82-year-old un-grafted vines that are picked by hand and raised for 12 months in new, second and third year oak barrels (65%), with 35% in stainless steel. Roberto de la Mota told me that he seeks more fruit on the Lunta vis-a-vis his other labels. It has a natural, elegant bouquet of blackberry, black plum, cassis and a touch of dried herbs on the nose that is not powerful, but elegant. The palate is medium-bodied with a crisp entry. It has fine tannins and a precise, understated finish of raspberry leaf, bergamot and wild strawberry. This is delicate and refined, yet still long in the mouth.
RP 88
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Lunta Malbec, from Mayor Drummond in Lujan de Cuyo, comes from 82-year-old un-grafted vines that are picked by hand and raised for 12 months in new, second and third year oak barrels (65%), with 35% in stainless steel. Roberto de la Mota told me that he seeks more fruit on the Lunta vis-a-vis his other labels. It has a natural, elegant bouquet of blackberry, black plum, cassis and a touch of dried herbs on the nose that is not powerful, but elegant. The palate is medium-bodied with a crisp entry. It has fine tannins and a precise, understated finish of raspberry leaf, bergamot and wild strawberry. This is delicate and refined, yet still long in the mouth.
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Lunta
Lunta, Argentina
Image of winery
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.

Argentina

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Stretching from the Andes to Patagonia, Argentina's unique terroir lends to high quality wines. Formerly associated with inexpensive bulk wine but dramatically shifting focus from quantity to quality, Argentina is the most important wine-producing country in South America. Certainly excellent values abound here still, but increases in vineyard investment, improved winery technology, and a commitment to innovation since the late 20th century have 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 can be used to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Mendoza, a large and famous region responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. 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.

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.

PSNRMN028_2011 Item# 129298