Argentina is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world. Argentine wine, as with some aspects of Argentine cuisine, has its roots in Spain. The wines started being exported during the 1990s, and are currently growing in popularity, making it now the largest wine exporter in South America. The most important wine regions of the country are located in the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja. Salta, Catamarca, Río Negro and more recently Southern Buenos Aires are also wine producing regions. The Mendoza province produces more than 60% of the Argentine wine. Due to the high altitude and low humidity of the main wine producing regions, Argentine vineyards rarely face the problems of insects, fungi, molds and other grape diseases that affect vineyards in other countries. This allows cultivating with little or no pesticides, enabling even organic wines to be easily produced. There are many different varieties of grapes cultivated in Argentina, reflecting the country's many immigrant groups. The French brought Malbec, which makes most of Argentina's best known wines. The Italians brought vines that they called Bonarda, although Argentine Bonarda appears to be the Douce noir of Savoie, also known as Charbono in California. It has nothing in common with the light fruity wines made from Bonarda Piemontese in Piedmont. Torrontés is another typically Argentine grape and is mostly found in the provinces of La Rioja, San Juan, and Salta. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay and other international varieties are becoming more widely planted.
- Item #: i_377778Bottle Size: 750mlThe purple-colored Malbec Blend contains 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Bonarda. The wine was aged in French and American oak. It offers up a nose of cedar, black cherry, and plum leading to a dense wine with plenty of savory black fruit flavor, a forward personality, and good length.
This organic wine is stored in American and French oak barrels for nine months; a quarter of this time is spent in new oak barrels. Rich dark violet colour. Intense aroma of dark berries and plums. The taste has elegant tones of concentrated fruit, coffee and tannins.
- Item #: i_381180Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Produced with grapes from one vineyard in Chacayes in the Valle de Uco, the 2016 BenMarco Malbec is floral, spicy, aromatic, showy and expressive, with great freshness and lots of aromatic herbs, black pepper and flowers. This has both good ripeness and freshness, with very fine tannins. It's a short (the shortest!) vintage with moderate alcohol but good concentration. 200,000 bottles produced. In the last few years, this has been sourced from Altamira." Ben Marco has been one of our favorite value-priced Malbec’s for some time. Showcasing rich, dark fruit and silky tannins, this is a delicious, crowd pleasing wine. It has the concentration and juicy flavors we love along with impressive lift and vibrancy.
- Item #: i_377824Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 95JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "Aromas of spices, smoke, berries and bark follow through to a medium body, medium round tannins and a wonderful finish. Love the finish of this, which gives a hint of walnuts, dark tea and ripe fruit. Very sophisticated. A blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon."
Bodegas Caro was born of an alliance between two wine cultures, (French and Argentine), two noble grape varieties, (Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec), and two royal families of winemaking, (Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolas Catena.) The name of the winery, Bodegas Caro is a contraction of the two family names, CAtena and ROthschild. Their plan was to produce a wine that would combine their expertise and the signature grapes of each producer. Together, these families have made a wine which delivers immediate gratification and can also be cellared over the mid-term.
Malbec is a powerful, exuberant fruity grape variety that benefits from the structure and elegance given by the Cabernet. These two grape varieties go well together with the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Bodegas Caro has succeeded in making a wine that is flat-out gorgeous and immensely satisfying.
- Item #: i_383147Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96We've scored a great deal on another excellent wine for lovers of the full-bodied classics of the world, from St. Emilion to Ribeira del Duero, from the Tuscan coast to the North Coast of California! This time it's Argentina that's delivered the value, and from a pedigreed source. James Suckling describes our featured wine as having "aromas of blueberries, blackberries and black truffles" and a "tight and chewy structure" with a "fresh and lively finish" and a "hot stone undertone." Such a high-quality wine, with restraint in fruit ripeness, depth of stuffing, and not least, balance, are signs of veteran winemakers.
The project BUSCADO VIVO O MUERTO (Wanted Dead or Alive) comes from the founders of the dynamic TintoNegro winery, Alejandro Sejonovich and Jeff Mausbach, who were long-time colleagues at the famous and highly regarded Argentinian winery, Catena Zapata. The name of this most recent project refers to their search for new, frontier vineyard sites in the Uco Valley, spots where no one was working. In the highest reaches, 5,000 feet up in the Andes foothills, they found something special in the area of Gualtallary. The wine they make from the site, "La Verdad" (The Truth), is a combined fermentation of Malbec and Cabernet Franc using native yeast, and mellowed in large, mostly seasoned French oak barrels. The result is a delicious and deep wine that's driven by the grapes and the site (with some careful shepherding by the winemakers, of course). We'll let Luis Gutierrez of The Wine Advocate bring it home!
WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "One of two wines from Gualtallary, the 2015 La Verdad Gualtallary is a co-fermentation of Malbec and Cabernet Franc from a 25-year-old vineyard at some 1,500 meters in altitude, which usually produces very fresh wines. The whole range is produced and aged in a very similar way to highlight the differences provided by the different places. My favorite of the 2015 collection, it has great freshness, super fine tannins and great minerality. This comes from cold soils that produce serious wines."
- Item #: i_382549Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "As traditional as it gets, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon was kept in the winery until Patti thought the wine was ready to drink. He's in search of an elegant, classical and polished wine that still keeps the varietal character but does not show the effect of the wood. The color, aromas and flavors are quite developed, nuanced and polished, with complexity and detail. It does have the herbal and spicy character of the grape (all the textbook descriptors are there: tobacco, forest floor, something herbal) and the warmth of the vintage and the place. It's harmonious, with moderate alcohol and good freshness. It's just delicious, like a trip to the past."
- Item #: i_382519Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2015 Malbec is a classic from Perdriel in Luján de Cuyo, fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in a combination of concrete vats and used oak barrels. 2015 was a slightly warmer vintage than 2014, and the wine shows round, with juicy fruit and still primary flavors of ripe berries and faint spices. The palate is sleek and lush, soft and caressing, easy to drink."
- Item #: i_380164Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 90 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Appellation Tupungato offers more freshness and vibrancy compared to the Catena Chardonnay, giving up classy notes of pears, melon, and spice, with just a hint of minerality and citrus coming through with time in the glass. Nicely balanced, medium-bodied, and impeccably made, it’s a rock-solid Chardonnay to enjoy over the coming 2-3 years."
- Item #: i_377265Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91James Suckling: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The fresh, floral and expressive 2016 Catena Malbec blends grapes from different parts of Mendoza: Lunlunta, Agrelo, Altamira El Cepillo and Gualtallary. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in French and American oak barrels for an average of 12 months. It's straight and a little austere but has deep flavors. Superb quality for the price and volume. 984,000 bottles produced."
- Item #: i_377302Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93James Suckling: 93JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "Wonderfully fresh violets on the nose with just a hint of clove. Rich, powerful, creamy and fresh, with a long, polished finish. A serious Argentinian malbec with great balance."
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS
Nicola Catena, immigrated from the Marche region of Italy to Argentina in 1898. In 1902, he planted his first Malbec Vineyard in western Mendoza, an area that has become the heart of Argentina's Winegrowing Region! Today, his Grandson, Nicolas Catena, has been likened to such Industry Icons as Baron Philippe Rothschild, Robert Mondavi and Angelo Gaya! His family winery produces some of the finest wines in the world!
A project that started in the mid 1990's in an effort to produce a super-premium wine, the winemaking team of Catena began an in-depth investigation into the yields from specially selected, high altitude vineyards, identifying the individual rows that produce the best fruit. The Catena Alta Malbec is an assemblage of these historic rows within the Catena family's estate vineyards. Only the best bunches are chosen from these rows in four vineyards with fruit grown at different altitudes (up to 5000 feet above sea-level) to capture the many different expressions of the Malbec varietal. Vineyard lots are harvested at different times to ensure optimal natural acidity and moderate alcohol levels. The blend of these rows, like the blend of musical notes that compose a symphony, creates a wine that is layered and complex, concentrated yet nuanced, and above all else, delicious right now and worthy of further aging!
- Item #: i_382774Bottle Size: 750mlCocodrilo is a new project from Paul Hobbs, with this wine appearing for the first time in the United States. This Cabernet-dominant blend boasts an enviable combination of power and finesse. It is full-bodied with pure, concentrated fruit and is certain to please Hobbs' many fans. Paul Hobbs is well-known for his exceptional California wines, crafting masterful renditions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. When visiting Argentina in 1989, Paul became enamored with its people, the culture and the huge potential for viticulture. He and his Argentine partners founded Viña Cobos and helped take winemaking in Argentina to a new level. He has had great success making premium priced wines and Cocodrilo demonstrates his ability to make a compelling Bordeaux-style blend at an affordable price.
Opaque purple in color. An aromatic display of exotic spices and concentrated black fruits including black currant and black cherry along with notes of cedar and baker's chocolate. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied with mouth-filling crème de cassis, ripe black cherry and blackberry flavors. The tannins are fine-grained and oh so silky. The wine demonstrates stunning purity and finishes with noteworthy length; very impressive.
- Item #: i_380683Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91James Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Brimming with blueberry, violet and bitter chocolate notes, this is an extravagant yet very fresh and well-structured expression of Salta malbec. If you can give it until 2020, then the bold, dry tannins will soften and may make it more elegant. "
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Malbec Estate is a blend of grapes from their four terroirs at 1,750, 2,300, 2,700 and 3,111 meters in altitude. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured for 18 months in French oak barrels, 10% of them new. All Salta wines have intensity and ripeness, and this is no exception. But the challenge is to find elegance and balance, which this one does nicely within its XL style. It is dark and heady yet harmonious. "
"A Swiss businessman and Napa vintner Donald Hess bought Bodega Colomé in 2001 and immediately set about modernizing the vineyards and winery in the remote Salta region of the Andes, in the north of Argentina. The estate Malbec, a 100 percent varietal bottling, blends fruit from four vineyards ranging from 5,700 to a dizzying 10,200 feet in altitude; the sun exposure at such elevations promotes thicker skins on berries and thus a more concentrated wine. After 15 months of aging in French oak barriques, this wine spent six months in bottle. It's an expression of a daunting terroir at an approachable price." - Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator
- Item #: i_380452Bottle Size: 750mlThe characteristic white wine grape of Argentina has recently been linked with the Malvasia grape vis-à-vis DNA research. And the wonderful aromas released certainly suggest a Malvasia heritage: notes of peach, apricot, honeysuckle and general floral tones; simply beautiful. The palate echoes the florals and again, stone fruits come to the fore, all enwrappedin a light background minerality.
Substainably farm Vineyards.Sustainable winegrowing not only improves wine quality, but helps to compete in the global market place where consumers are increasingly interested in knowing that the foods and wines they enjoy are produced in an environmentally friendly manner.” Robert P. Koch, President & CEO of the Wine Institute.
- Item #: i_381178Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Decanter: 93 PointsDECANTER 93 POINTS - "Paz Levinson: What a cracking wine! Black plum and violet aromas lead to a fresh and crunchy palate, with balanced alcohol. Fresh, pure – and amazing value. Patricio Tapia: Incredible value here. This is a pure expression of Malbec, with aromas of violets and filled with cherry notes. An impressive expression of the grape. Drinking Window 2018 - 2020"
WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2017 Críos Malbec saw a change in the range, where the oak staves have been discontinued and only 30% percentage of the wine aged in well-seasoned neutral oak barrels. This is perfumed and juicy, with nice ripeness and a tasty palate. It is very accessible and comes from a typical vintage in which the wine managed to maintain moderate alcohol. 2017 was a low-yielding year, the second shortest in the last few years."
Susana not only became the first female enologist in Argentina after graduating with honors from Don Bosco University in Mendoza in 1981, but also was brave enough (or crazy enough as some would have thought at that time) to build an export category for Malbec when no one knew about this grape variety.
Susana elaborated this distinguished variety which stands out for its notes of black cherries, spices and violets.
In a few words:
FRUITY WITH SPICY NOTES.
- Item #: i_382608Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 96JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "This is a generous and juicy red with gorgeous fruit. Shows reserve and balance. A wonderful tangy, light orange peel and light foie gras. Full to medium body. Fantastic finish. Clear and meaningful. Drink now."
Cuvelier Los Andes is owned by Bertrand and Jean-Guy Cuvelier, part-owners of renowned Bordeaux Chateau Leoville-Poyferre in Saint Julien. The estate is located in the Uco Valley at the foothills of the Andes and encompasses 115 acres of still young vines. The consulting winemaker is Michel Rolland.
- Item #: i_382548Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Very interesting aromas of dried-fruit, figs and hints of walnuts and spices. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, caressing finish, which shows finesse and structure."
Cuvelier Los Andes is a project from Bordeaux's legendary Cuvelier family, owners of Le Crock, Camensac and Léoville-Poyferré. It is bright purple-colored, with an opaque center and a muted nose that requires plenty of air and coaxing to unfurl the heady, ripe black fruit and violet aromas with a lactic overtone. It has a full-bodied palate and a lush texture, thick and dense, with good acidity, freshness and balance. This is a very good, powerful Malbec at a very good price.
- Item #: i_380419Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 91James Suckling: 91JAMES SUCKLING 91 POINTS - "A juicy and fruity wine with berry and cherry character. Hints of flowers. Medium to full body. Balance of fine tannins. A blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, merlot and syrah."
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "A ripe, muscular, full-bodied red, with concentrated dark fruit flavors that feature plenty of Asian spice and smoke notes. Mocha and dark chocolate accents fill the finish. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022."
Cuvelier Los Andes is owned by Bertrand and Jean-Guy Cuvelier, part-owners of renowned Bordeaux Chateau Leoville-Poyferre in Saint Julien. The estate is located in the Uco Valley at the foothills of the Andes and encompasses 115 acres of still young vines. The consulting winemaker is Michel Rolland."
- Item #: i_380436Bottle Size: 750MLThe origins of the Cuvelier family’s wine exploits begin in Bordeaux in the early twentieth century with the purchase of Château le Crock in St. Estèphe in 1903. But, for many, they are best known for their ownership of Château Leoville Poyferré, which they bought in 1920. In the 1990s, the family spread their wings as they turned their attention to Mendoza in Argentina, working first with Michel Rolland and then by 1999, they had begun to plant their own vineyards.
A big, grippy red, with dense, powerful and lavishly spiced flavors of blackberry, dark plum and dried cherry. Creamy midpalate, presenting a long, rich finish filled with pepper and cocoa powder notes.
- Item #: i_382555Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91Decero, meaning "from scratch", was born of a bare patch of land and a family's love affair with wine. Winemaking in Thomas Schmidheiny's family went back to his grandparents in Switzerland and, just as Napa had inspired his mother, Adda, in the 1970s, so too did Agrelo capture the heart and mind of Thomas, when traveling over the Andes into Argentina, 20 years later.
Starting "decero" was exactly how Thomas Schmidheiny dreamt of beginning a world-class vineyard, free from constraint of tradition and full of passion. Here in Agrelo, the source of some of Argentina's finest red wines, Thomas instinctively knew that he had found the place to continue the family legacy and to handcraft wines whose allure would lie in being true to their origin.
And what a wine we have! The nose is a mix of sweet, dark red fruits, berries, cherries and currant, accented with a streak of spices, cherry liqueur, underbrush and wet rose. Rich, sexy, inviting. The sweet fruits continue in the palate with cherries and cassis in the fore as touches of cocoa wrap themselves in velvety tannins, notes of kriek Lambic and a brushing of minerality and earth. The finish is long but uplifting as the tannins and bright acidity keep the focus upward and onward.
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS 'SMART BUY' - "Big and rich, with zesty acidity behind the dark plum, blackberry and dark currant flavors. Chocolate nib notes show midpalate, while creamy accents fill the pure, fruit-filled finish. Drink now through 2024. 3,500 cases imported."
- Item #: i_382832Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 95WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "An unctuous red, with a deep well of blackberry, dark plum, currant and black olive flavors, backed by plenty of rich savoriness and firm tannins. Creamy midpalate, offering a buoyant finish that lingers with chocolate and spice details. Drink now through 2024. 225 cases made."
- Item #: i_382490Bottle Size: 750mlJAMES SUCKLING 90 POINTS - "A fresh and leaner style with black currants and blueberries. Full-bodied, minerally and crisp. A blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot."
Our savvy customers count on us to point out delicious wines, which drink way above their price point. Oftentimes, we lead them to the area of the store featuring wines from Argentina, which offer incredible value. The rise of Malbec as a grape varietal has been nothing short of astounding. Over the last thirty years, Argentine winemakers have taken the little known Malbec grape and made it their own. What was formerly known as a relatively minor blending grape in Bordeaux has reached heights not seen in its’ native France. What makes Malbec so enticing is its’ combination of beautiful aromatics and delicious fruit flavor combined with full body and smooth tannins. It is so drinkable!
This particular wine hails from Lujan de Cuyo in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Dona Paula employs sustainable viticulture practices and believes excellent wine comes directly from high quality fruit grown in the vineyard. The grapes are hand harvested and aged in a combination of new and used French Oak. The winemaker added 37 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 3 % Petit Verdot to give the blend additional structure and complexity. This is a terrific, crowd pleasing wine and great value, which would be enjoyable for your guests at weddings, parties and other get-togethers. Enjoy!
- Item #: i_382241Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98What do you do if you are already one of the most celebrated winemakers in the world and you have an unbeatable gig? If you are Alejandro Vigil from Catena, you partner with the boss on your new solo project and keep working your day-job too. Alejandro partnered with Adrianna Catena, Nicholas Catena's youngest daughter, to form El Enemigo. Enemigo focuses on high-altitude Cabernet Franc, producing FOUR different Cab Franc bottlings-two Gran Enemigo Single Vineyards, a Gran Enemigo blend, and the entry tier Cab Franc. We'll simplify the line-up a bit and say the "Gualtallary Single Vineyard" is the best of the line and it comes from the extreme high altitude region that helped make Catena famous. There are only 300 six-packs of this rare wine produced. It is midnight black in color and shows a massive palate-weight, but this wine is also truly elegant, only lightly-touched by oak, and very age-worthy. If you open a bottle tonight, we recommend a decanter for 30 minutes to allow the perfumes to open up. All of Alejandro Vigils wines benefit from air and time. That's when the layers and complexity truly emerge.
WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "I also tasted the 2014 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard, which might take some months to come into the market. It has some balsamic aromas, medicinal hints, traces of orange peel, saffron and a touch of sweet spices. It's built around very fine tannins and a notable core of acidity that acts as backbone, giving it length and lifting up the finish. This is quite in line with the 2010 vintage, with power and freshness in a rare combination of clout and elegance only the very best wines manage to show. There are some 3,000 bottles of this wine. It was bottled in March 2017."