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Wine Advocate Score: 93+
James Suckling Score: 95
Our Wine of the Month #2 is Catena's 2018 Malbec from the prized Altamira district in Argentina's Uco Valley. If you enjoy wines with a lot of sunny, ripe fruit and soft mouthfeel that are also a relative bargain, we think you'll love this one!

The Catena family have been making wine in Argentina for over 100 years, joining a few other winemaking pioneers who brought vines over from France. These days, the family members dominate the Argentinian wine scene, making wines for all budgets that are warmly received by both critics and wine drinkers alike. They have been vital in promoting the regional differences in the country's wines, and their 2018 Paraje Altamira Malbec is a perfect example of that!

This 2018 release is what they consider to be classic Altamira style. The wine is opaque with a violet hue showing its still youthful character. A month-long mingling of skins and juice helps pull out all that color along with a lot of flavor and soft tannins. They aged the wine in French oak for a year to marry everything together, which also adds a background note of vanilla that peaks out from the copious amounts of blackcurrant preserves and violet. There's an uplifting fresh plum and saline counterpoint that keeps the wine feeling fresher than other sunny climates might produce. In this high-altitude, sandy area, the wine is soft and generously mouth-filling, but the alcohol is moderate, making for a more drinkable and flavorful experience!

JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "This takes a spicy stance with attractively matched oak and plums, currants and violets. The palate has such succulent, dark-plum flavors with long, polished tannins. Impressive poise and depth here. Drink or hold."

WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "The star of the appellation range is usually the Malbec from Altamira, and the 2018 Appellation Paraje Altamira Malbec does not disappoint. One of the plots was harvested quite early, and the rest fermented with full clusters and finished fermentation without skins, which seems to have added to the elegance/ethereal character of the wine. It's expressive and floral, varietal, and with the full chalky texture that is a distinct characteristic of Altamira. It's tasty, the tannins are polished and there is an almost salty sensation in the finish."
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