Luca “Beso de Dante” 2010 ~ The Catena Family’s Hot Streak Continues!

Christopher’s Wine Country Connection

2010 Luca “Beso de Dante” Luca

93 points (outstanding)
Wine Advocate

~ Now THIS is what I call a CASE buy, folks!

~ This is one of only three,
93 point (WA) 2010 Malbec / Malbec Blends currently available for less than $30! AND it competes with $75 to $150+ Malbecs from producers such as Achaval Ferrer and Vina Cobos!

~ Another fact: regarding the hierarchy of Argentina’s top wineries – the estates owned by the Catena family have set the benchmark for quality and consistency for decades.

~ This particular estate – Luca – is owned by Laura Catena, daughter of Nicolas Catena, and she has hired as winemaker the venerable Luis Reginato from Catena Zapata (home to more 98 point wines than practically anywhere else in South America!)

~ From Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate:

“The 2010 Luca Beso de Dante is a blend of 60% Malbec and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon from Vista Flores, Altamira and Agrelo that is aged for 14 months in French oak, 70% new. It has a billowing bouquet of dark cherries, cassis, bay leaf and a hint of espresso that is beautifully defined….
This is superb. Drink 2013-2020.”
93 points (Outstanding)
~ Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

MSRP: $44.99
YOUR PRICE: $29.99
(15 packs ship for the same cost as 12 packs, please inquire)

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Luca ~ by Laura Catena

With a mere 300 cases of total production, Laura Catena is committed to establishing Beso de Dante among the world’s elite bottlings. Sourced from breathtaking mountain vineyards reaching altitudes of more than 3,000 feet, these TRUE mountain-grown Malbec / Cabernet blends offer the discerning wine lover the best of Argentina, married to the classicism of Bordeaux. Viticulturist and wine-maker Luis Reginato fashions South America’s most regal and sought after Cabernets and Blends – and his latest offering of Beso de Dante continues a streak of outstanding rated examples!

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate reports:Laura Catena

“Luca belongs to the Catena family, namely Laura Catena, Nicolas’s daughter, who commutes between San Francisco (where she is an emergency room physician) and Mendoza. The winemaker is Luis Reginato, who is the viticulturalist at Catena Zapata, and judging by the quality of these wines, he is a major talent. This was one of the most consistent and, for want of a better word, “enjoyable” portfolios that I encountered during my trip.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate ~ Issue #203

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Wine Country Connection

Valentin Bianchi “Enzo Bianchi” 2009 ~ An Argentinean Grand Cru & Editor’s Choice

Christopher’s Wine Country Connection

Valentin Bianchi 2009 “Enzo Bianchi”Enzo_New_Bottle_2
Editor’s Choice ~ Wine Enthusiast Magazine

~ The 2009 version of the Enzo Bianchi – a micro production of only 125 cases – received the Editor’s Choice Award from Wine Enthusiast Magazine, where they reported:
“This inky San Rafael red features power, heat, blackberry and cassis on the nose. In the mouth, it’s full and balanced in feel, with black fruit, baked plum and toast flavors. A clean, almost stony feeling finish suggests minerality. Drink through 2018.”
92 points, Editor’s Choice – Wine Enthusiast

2009 Valentin Bianchi “Enzo Bianchi”
San Rafael – Argentina
MSRP: $59.99
Your Price: $39

WCC Notes: “The 2009 Enzo Bianchi is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, and 7% Malbec, aged for 14 months in new French oak. Deep, dark inky/purple in color, the wine offers up an extraordinary bouquet of blackberry, black currant, cigar box, Asian spices, black cherries, chocolate and plum. This full-bodied wine is rich and round with a plush velvety texture, seductive personality and a long, captivating finish. It reveals deep, intense flavors, layered complexity, and precision balance.”

Valentin Bianchi – San Rafael

~ With its roots dating to 1910, the estate of Valentin Bianchi is among the oldest wineries in Argentina. Its founder, Don Valentin Bianchi landed in Argentina from Italy and after nearly 20 years would finally realize his vinous dreams of establishing his family’s winery.

~ By 1934, Bianchi acquired critical acclaim by winning the then coveted “Maximum Quality Prize” at the Official Wine Exhibit in Mendoza. The quality equivalent of Grand Cru status, this moniker continues to adorn Bianchi’s greatest selection – the Enzo Bianchi – even today.

~ The winery’s most prized vineyard – source of the “Enzo Bianchi” bottling – is planted specifically in Finca Asti (located in Las Paredes) in San Rafael, Mendoza. The aspect which makes this site so particular is its elevation. Located at 2,400 feet above sea level, this breathtaking vineyard allows for precise growing conditions which benefit the various varietals that are blended to complete Bianchi’s Grand Cru, the “Enzo Bianchi”.

~ One taste and you’ll understand why Don Valentin was so dedicated to the site; and why so many wine lovers to this day continue to be thrilled with the results!

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just reply to order

2008 Bodega Sur de Los Andes ~ Bonarda | Argentina

2008 Bodega Sur de los Andes Bonarda

2008 Bodega Sur de Los Andes

Sur de Los Andes

Bonarda Dry Red Table Wine

Mendoza, Argentina

“Deep ruby purple, bordering on opaque in color to the rim. Deeply aromatic and aggressive with pronounced wood smoke, caramel, black licorice, truffle and other assorted torrefaction components; certainly one for the New-World, oak-lover crowd. Aggressive on the palate as well, with a sweetly black raspberry component and being marked by warmth from the alcohol. Served cellar temperature, it’s less aggressive, allowing the fruit to be enjoyed. Purely new world in style, with no rough edges, cleanly made and easily understood; if not a bit stunted by the wood and alcohol. Overall very good and approachable.”

Review by Cepage Noir Wine Co. (CM)

Score: 85

“A Very Good wine of excellent character that often belies its price point.”

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LOS COWBOYS Torrontés – Summertime, and the Sippin’ is Easy

Los Cowboys Torrontés

Back in the day, at the old wine shop, I championed this grape as an affordable, daily alternative to Viognier. Drinking Torrontés, a grape primarily found in Argentina, is like a breath of fresh air; the aromas and flavors are refreshing, with a floral sensation that is quite captivating when the wine is well-made. My favorites in this category will be quite dry, with no sweetness to them, yet the fruit will be unmistakable, with that tell-tale tropical quality of mango or papaya combined with a citrus quality that will have you thinking of oranges or nectarines. The perfect summer quencher, Torrontés wines should offer some crispness, as well, due to a natural acidity; we’re not talking French Chablis, though. So try these wines with lighter fare but I don’t particularly care to pair them with oysters – grilled, seasoned fish dishes, however, work quite well.

Important to note is that Torrontés wines drink best young, allowing the fruit to best express itself, so look for the recently released 2009.

The best of the current lot I’ve recently experienced comes from Los Cowboys. Being a Natural Wine fan, as I am, I like what these folks are up to, check out the link….

I’ve found it on-line, using, for about $7-$8 bucks, so do your research – Texas retailers are generally too high; you can thank our Texas wholesalers for that!

All the best!