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_383915Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93This is the new release of El Enemigo Cabernet Franc from one of the most celebrated winemakers in the world, Alejandro Vigil. Alejandro holds the highest rating ever given to a pure Cabernet Franc wine by Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, 100 Points awarded to El Gran Enemigo Cabernet Franc from Gualtallary, Mendoza.
What a pleasure to enjoy this wine! The nose is complex, loaded with dark red and blue fruits, a touch of blood orange and notes of forest floor, anise and balsa wood. In the mouth, silky tannins merge into a sexy viscosity as lush fruits lead to layers of earth, black tea, graphite and minerality. Brisk, balancing acidity keeps this wine uplifted and vibrant as red and dark berries take their curtain call at the finish, bowing to extended applause, the flavors lasting and lasting. Bravo!
El Enemigo is a project from two romantics, a winemaker (Alejandro Vigil), and a historian (Adrianna Catena), who go back in time to capture an era when European immigrants recently settled in Argentina, sought to make wines as fine, and finer than those of their homelands.
Adrianna grew up drinking Old-World Bordeaux with her father (Nicolas Catena). She will never forget the first time dad got a shipment of wine from France, and opened a bottle of Cheval Blanc for her. Alejandro served Angelica Zapata Cabernet Franc at his wedding. It's as if both Alejandro and Adrianna were born with a taste for the peppery aromas, grainy tannins and freshness of this variety.
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2015 El Enemigo Cabernet Franc was produced with fruit from Gualtallary, from a specific 8.8-hectare plot of the Adrianna Vineyard. It fermented in two tries with a portion of full clusters. It has a beautiful nose with plenty of spices and herbs and some Pinot-like red fruit. The palate is harmonious and balanced, with very fine tannins and a velvety texture."
- 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_380673Bottle Size: 750MLTIM ATKIN 94 POINTS - "Reflecting the freshness and “European” balance of one of the coldest ever growing seasons in Argentina, this cuvée of Malbec and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon has less of the former variety than usual in the blend. It’s another superb wine from Fernando Buscema with sinewy tannins, good fruit focus and refreshing natural acidity. 2020-28."
WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - " The 2016 Amancaya is a blend of 70% Malbec, a little higher than normal, and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from Agrelo and Altamira from the coldest vintage on record. It fermented with neutral yeasts, and half of the volume matured in concrete vats while the other half was racked into French oak barrels, 10% to 15% of them new, for 12 months. There are some notes of leather and earth that give it a rustic twist. It has a mixture of red and black fruit and a medium-bodied palate with fine tannins but doesn't have the freshness I was expecting from a 2015."
60% to 70% Malbec, 30% to 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep ruby color. The nose is expressive with notes of red fruits, coffee and black pepper. Complex on the palate with aromas of plums, fruit and spices, this well-balanced wine is an elegant expression of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- 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_380795Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96James Suckling: 97JAMES SUCKLING 97 POINTS - "Very deep and dark with enormous concentration but also a lot of finesse. There’s some toast and chocolate from oak, as well as great freshness. Stunning harmony and a very long finish that tells a totally fascinating story. A blend of 73% cabernet sauvignon and 27% malbec."
- Item #: i_383068Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 100WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "Like the other Malbecs from Adrianna Vineyard, the 2016 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones was bottled a little earlier, and the time in oak was shortened. It was a most unusual year that was cold and rainy and allowed for no irrigation. This has good ripeness and sharp acidity, making it powerful but extremely fresh, with a backbone of acidity that lifts the wine up and makes it extremely long and persistent. In fact, the wine blows me away with an unusual combination of power and elegance; it shows detailed and nuanced, with subtle aromas of violets, spices, tobacco and wet chalk. It has a velvety texture with ultra refined, fine-grained tannins. It is precise in the acidity and on the palate, with the textbook chalky tannins and a sapid, almost salty finish. This is serious, austere, mineral, long, compact, harmonious and concentrated, yet it feels light and has that somewhat contradictory powerful elegance. This has to be the best wine ever produced at Catena. I'd love to have a time machine and taste this wine in 20 years' time... There are some 3,800 bottles of this."
- Item #: i_377302Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94James Suckling: 92WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "...fermented in tank with full clusters and finished fermenting after pressing, without skins. It's serious and elegant, with the year's signature freshness. 2016 has really marked the wines with great freshness. This is serious and with zero sweetness, complete and direct. "
JAMES SCUKLING 92 POINTS - "Plenty of cocoa powder as well as violets follow through to some serious tannins that are already well integrated. They and the crisp acidity give the dry finish some assertive power."
- 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: 750mlWine Advocate: 91James Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Here is the Salta mountain freshness! A really enticing combination of melon, floral and a wide spectrum of delicate citrus aromas. I love the balance of juicy fruit and crisp acidity that gives the bold, long finish a lot of life. "
The 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 PointsWe have enjoyed Susana Balbo's Crios wines for years and it's easy to figure out why... These are very well made, immensely flavorful wines that showcase the terroir of their homeland while not costing a fortune-- bravo for this bang-for-a-buck beauty!
Susana Balbo 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.
Crios is a brand that combines the sensibility of Susana's 30+ years of experience with her never-ending quest for innovation. Born in Argentina, a large country with a wide range of climates, soils and altitudes, Crios wines are harvested from specific areas in Mendoza and Salta where grapes are optimal for the fruit-forward style of the focus on for this brand.
Our notes: "Dark red and black plums on the nose, joined by midnight garden floral scents, blackberry, dark spices, black licorice, herbal notes. Lush texture in the mouth with rounded, soft tannins and light acidity on the finish. The palate reiterates the nose with tons of mixed black fruits, vanilla bean and lighter spices. Soft red and blue fruits on the long finish." Pair with tuna steak, lamb, hamburgers.
DECANTER 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_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: 750MLCuvelier 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_383606Bottle Size: 750mlIt is a wine of bright yellow with green shades. In the nose it presents aromas of tropical fruits with citrus and floral notes. Concentrated notes of peach and green apple with a hint of mild spices are perceived in the mouth. The end is clean with a fresh acidity. It is ideal to drink as an aperitif and with seafood, fish and goat cheese.
- 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: 98Cabernet Franc is enjoying a renaissance in quality with passionate winemakers moving Cab Franc out of the "supporting role" and into the limelight. There is much to celebrate as a truly great Cabernet Franc offers plenty of muscle like a Cabernet Sauvignon, but there is a mix of satiny textures and perfumed elegance that is a shade more layered and elegant than most Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheval Blanc in St Emilion used to stand alone as the flag-bearer of what great Cabernet Franc could be, but Alejandro Vigil in Argentina is obsessively proving that Argentina's Cabernet Francs will take on the world. Alejandro is best known for the diverse and beautiful wines he makes for the Catena family, but Cabernet Franc is a personal passion and with his own "El Enemigo" label, also known as "Bodega Aleanna," Alejandro Vigil works obsessively on Cabernet Franc. El Enemigo makes SIX wines based on Cabernet Franc. In the 2014 vintage 4 of the 6 scored 96 pts or higher in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. In the 40+ year history of the publication there have been less that 60 Cab Francs to score that high-roughly 1.5 per year. 4 scores that high in one year is ASTOUNDING. So is the wine. The Gran Enemigo "Gualtallary" Vineyard is emerging as Alejandro Vigil's benchmark wine in the series. We recommend a decanter, some good friends, and time to watch to this one unfold.
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."
- Item #: i_378972Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 98We just got in the latest Chardonnay from the phenomenal Argentinian winery, El Enemigo, and it's certainly not "just another Chardonnay!" The aromas are absolutely enticing, swirling among notes of ripe pears and peaches, marcona almond, with toasted notes and subtle vanilla. In the mouth, the satiny, full texture glides in and is ushered along by a beautifully balancing acidity. The flavors are a complex melange of very ripe apple or pear and succulent peach, nougat (vanilla & nuts), a saline thread, along with subtle savory yeast lees and toasted oak accents. The finish rides a delicate line, neither sweet nor bone dry, but a succulent/savory sendoff that beckons another taste.
It shouldn't be too surprising that the wine is so good, as El Enemigo has the pedigree: it's a collaboration between Adriana Catena and the chief winemaker for Catena Zapata, Alejandro Vigil. The winery was named to represent their irreverence for the status quo ("the enemy"), and their Chardonnay certainly lives up to that, as it's made in a style that breaks from the norm!
In a unique twist for most Chardonnays, El Enemigo's is aged almost completely under a "veil" of yeast that serves as a barrier between the wine and oxygen, a common technique in the Jura region of France (a more dramatic form is used in making many styles of Sherry). Such partially exposed wine contributes subtle, slightly oxidative aromas and flavors like bruised fruits and nuts, and the contribution of the yeast adds some floral aromas and a savory sensation; there is often a "saline" quality to such wines. Along with that are those fresher fruit flavors of a classic Chardonnay grown in the intense sunlight of the high-altitude Gualtallary region of Mendoza, Argentina.
On the heels of their monumental 2014 "Gran Enemigo" Cabernet Franc (with a 98-point score from Wine Advocate), their 2017 Chardonnay is another win, with a 98-point score from James Suckling!
JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS – "A tight and beautiful white with a dense palate of beautiful, ripe lemons and apples. Layered and refined with phenolic tension. Complex yeast and hints of oak and flor. Full body. Great length. 80 per cent flor-growth in barrel. Drink now."
- Item #: i_383918Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91James Suckling: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A tight and focused bonarda this year with a mineral and dark berry character. Some fresh lemongrass also. Medium body, light tannins and a precise and energetic finish."
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The earthy and herbal 2015 El Enemigo Bonarda contains some 15% Cabernet Franc from Barrancas. It's ripe and a little heady, balsamic and even minty. It fermented in two open-top 5,000 liter oak vats and concrete pools. It has the earthy rusticity of the variety, a juicy texture and some dusty tannins. Full of character and quite unique. "
- Item #: i_381267Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Vinous Media: 90STEPHEN TANZER 91 POINTS - "Dark red-ruby. Very sexy spicy oak lift to the aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and licorice. At once juicy and supple, with good energy and a glossy oak element to the strong blackberry and licorice flavors. Quite silky and deep for this bottling. The rising finish features supple tannins, subtle sweetness and an absence of rough edges. An outstanding value."
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Patriota was a similar blend of Malbec from the Valle de Uco (Vista Flores) and Bonarda from Ribadavia matured in oak barrels for some ten months. There is no astringency or herbal notes in this blend, and the Malbec is nicely complemented by the slightly rustic character of the Bonarda."