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Mapema Primera Zona Malbec 2007

Malbec from Argentina
  • WE92
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

Black velvet in the glass, the layer of flavors begins with ripe black cherry and boysenberry and continues with a touch of smoke and spice. It achieves that elusive combination of concentration, complexity and finesse. Great with foods like veal chops, duck with fruit sauces, beef, lamb, grilled or roasted chicken, and game birds.

Critical Acclaim

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

From longtime Catena winemakers Mariano de Paola and Pepe Galante, this is a deep, black-fruited Malbec with a cushioned bouquet, violet notes and delightful blackberry character. The palate is deep, juicy, healthy and balanced, and the finish is smooth and offers a whiff of coconut. Solid, serious and good now through 2013.

WS 92
Wine Spectator

Big and flashy, with a large core of crushed currant and blackberry fruit enlivened by a nice tangy hint of damson plum. Plenty of spice and licorice notes fill out the muscular finish. Should settle in nicely with modest cellaring. Malbec. Drink now through 2011.

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Mapema

Mapema

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Mapema, , South America
Mapema
We hear a lot about terroir and soils, but there is no substitute for a great team in winemaking, from the guys who prune to those who clean the barrels. Mariano di Paola has known this for decades, and as one of Mendoza's "Deans of Winemaking", he has built a long history of collaboration.

If you've met Mariano, you know that his greeting is like a big bear hug. If you work for him, you know that this hug extends to his every day dealings. Mariano makes sure his team enjoys lunch with him every day, including regular tastings of his high-end wines, and he makes sure they have wine for their homes at the end of every month. After all, they’re the ones who help make it happen! His Christmas parties are legendary and include everyone’s extended families (up to 400 people some years!). Take the expertise and experience of a great winemaker (Ma = Mariano) who sources the best possible grapes in Mendoza, wrap them around dedicated people (pe = people), and you’ve got incredible ma-pe-ma wines.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, The Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river which flows through the region. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, further from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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.

STC753540_2007 Item# 108330

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