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Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino 2013 (1x75cl)

In 1902, Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, planted his first vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery has remained under family control — now in its fourth generation — and is one of the few family-owned wine companies in Argentina that remains in Argentine hands. Owned today by Nicolás Catena and his daughter Laura, Bodega Catena Zapata is known as the pioneer of fine wine from Argentina, and Nicolás is recognized as the vintner who revolutionized wine quality in Argentina. A trained economist, Nicolás began this revolution in the early 1980s and continues to challenge himself and his team to make wines that can be counted among the best in the world. His measured approach to viticulture has taken its place in wine history as the pioneer of Malbec and high-altitude viticulture.

Catena wines, first launched in 1992, set a new standard for quality in South America. The wines immediately proved the quality potential of Argentina and garnered the first outstanding reviews for Argentine wines from worldwide media. After more than 20 years, the wines of Catena continue to lead the way in Argentine viticulture and winemaking. The family and the winery’s employees take great pride in carrying on the tradition that began over a century ago.

See/click the link below for more data from the winemakers themselves.

Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino 2013 - fiche technique

100% Malbec.

The Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino shows a saturated dark violet color with ruby reflections; the nose offers cassis, blueberries and violets, along with a strong suggestion of soil tones. It combines density and sweetness on the one hand, with gripping, lightly saline flavors of mocha, dark berries, spice, and minerals; a palate-staining finish dominated by sweet black and blue fruits.

ABV = 14.0%.

£60.35

Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition panel tasting of South American signature grapes (see blue link below). 

Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2017 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

Doña Paula is a leading, modern winery at the forefront of exploring and investing in new, high quality wine regions in Argentina. Established in 1997, they own all of their vineyards covering 700 hectares. These vineyard sites are located in the best subregions within Mendoza including Ugarteche, Altamira, Gualtallary and Tupungato. The vineyards have always been cultivated using sustainable methods, maximising the true expression of terroir. Continuous innovation in vineyard management ensures Doña Paula produces top quality wines from one year to the next.

The grapes were sourced from two of Dona Paula's best estate vineyards: Finca Alluvia in Gualtallary, situated at 1,350 metres above sea level and Finca Los Indios, located in Altamira, Uco Valley at an altitude of 1,100 metres. The soils are stony in the first location and sandy loam in the second, but both have a high calcareous content. This Malbec displays the characteristics of its cool climate origins and the wide diurnal temperature differences. The daily diurnal temperature range is excellent for the production of quality grapes; the nightly cooling-off extends the ripening period, allowing the grapes to develop rich varietal characteristics while retaining balancing acidity. The vines are grown on espaliers, using drip irrigation and the vineyards are cultivated using sustainable agricultural practices.

2018 saw a return to higher yields, after the low yielding vintages of 2016 and 2017. Doña Paula had a record harvest in 2018, with the highest average in the province. The growing season was dry, with very low rainfall and average temperatures, which resulted in fruit with optimal ripeness. 2018 is being hailed as a classic year for Mendoza.

The grapes were hand-picked, prior to a gentle destemming without crushing the berries. A cold, pre-fermentation maceration was carried out. Fermentation took place at low temperatures, followed by a post-fermentation maceration of 15 to 20 days, extracting colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was then racked to first, second and third-use French oak barrels for a period of 12 months.

100% Malbec.

Intense violet in colour, this estate Malbec has enticing aromas of plums, black cherries, liquorice and spice, backed by subtle mineral and graphite notes. Great balance and freshness on the palate, with a deep concentration of ripe fruit, soft tannins and a persistent finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£12.40

Finca Flichman Dedicado, `Gran Corte` Uco Valley 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

The winery was founded in 1910 by Polish immigrant Don Sami Flichman.  He purchased property in Barrancas (southern Maipú) and planted vines in rocky, well-drained plots situated along the Mendoza river. It was Sami’s son Isaac who first began to make fine wine at the estate, including Caballero de la Cepa, one of the first high-quality wines that garnered international awareness for premium Argentinian wines. Sogrape Vinhos purchased Finca Flichman in 1998, and invested heavily in restoring the vineyards and equipping the winery with modern equipment. The original Barrancas vineyard remains among their 400 hectares of vines, which also includes the higher altitude Tupungato vineyard. Today the wines are made by Germán Berra, one of Argentina’s brightest talents, who was recognised as the ‘Best Young Winemaker’ in the Argentina Wine Awards in 2016. Germán works closely with consultant and renowned winemaker Alberto Antonini.

The Dedicado is made from the best hand-harvested fruit from the highaltitude Tupungato vineyards in the Valle de Uco. Terroir consultant Pedro Parra of Clos des Fous consults on the vineyards. Situated at the foot of the Andes, the vineyards benefit from large diurnal temperature variations which result in longer ripening seasons and more elegant wines.

A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Malbec and 10% Syrah spent 12 days fermenting at 26-29°C. Malolactic fermentation was allowed before the wine aged for 12 months in French and American oak, followed by a year in bottle before release.

A deep red wine with violet shades. There is a rich aroma of black plums, blackberries and tobacco leaves. On the palate it is soft, elegant and complex with a long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£27.25

Finca Sophenia Synthesis Malbec 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded a Platinum Medal and 97 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Located in the high altitude Tupungato Valley region of Mendoza, this modern winery benefits from a long, cool growing season and strong UV sunlight that helps maximise the aromas and complexity of the resulting grapes. Tupungato sits at the western extreme of Mendoza right at the foot of the Andes mountains with an elevation of 1,200 meters giving benefit to the vineyards from a much cooler climate, abundant sun, and sharp contrast between day and night temperatures. When all the above is combined it allows the winemaker the opportunity to produce wines with utmost expression. Wine consultant Michel Rolland (from Bordeaux) has added his expertise to this project and in the last few years since launch the range of wines have received numerous awards and accolades.

100% Malbec.

To see Finca Sophenia's own excellent information for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Finca Sophenia Synthesis Malbec - fiche technique

ABV = 14.0%.

£24.95

Kaiken Obertura Uco Valley Cabernet Franc 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their June 2019 panel tasting of South American Icon Wines (see blue link below).

Kaiken Obertura Uco Valley Cabernet Franc 2015 - June 2019 Decanter review

Kaikenes are wild geese, native to Patagonia, that fly across the Andes between Chile and Argentina. Montes, the Chilean winery, crossed the Andes in the same way to set up in Mendoza. Their vineyards are situated in the heart of Mendoza and further to the south in Valle de Uco, where many of the premium producers are now sourcing their fruit. The focus is primarily on Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety that has been somewhat forgotten as Malbec has surfed one wave of success after another in the past decade. Kaiken's own vineyards supply 70% of their production requirements and 30% is from vineyards that they control.

The grapes are sourced from Valle de Uco, one of Mendoza’s most prestigious sub-regions. Kaiken’s vineyard, located in Vista Flores, sits at 1,350 metres above sea level. Here, sunny days are followed by cool nights – this slows the growing season and allows Kaiken to obtain excellent grapes with wonderful freshness. The soils are mostly alluvial and are largely made up of pebbles and rocks.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note about this wine that has been written by the team at Kaiken, please click on the blue link below.

Kaiken Obertura 2015 - fiche technique

This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc.

This Cabernet Franc is deep ruby red in colour with elegant purple shades. The nose is complex, with ripe redcurrants, fresh plums and red pepper combined with spicy notes of black pepper. On the palate, it has beautiful fruit concentration balanced by fresh acidity and minerality, reflecting the high-altitude location of Vista Flores. The long, elegant finish displays red fruit and spicy aromas.

ABV = 14.5%.

£26.25

Perfiles Malbec Calcareo, Trapiche 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintagewas awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their on-line October 2017 review (see blue link below)

Perfiles Malbec Calcareo, Trapiche 2015 - Oct 2017 Decanter review

The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has earned its place as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. Led by Daniel Pi, their Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand. It is in this way that Trapiche has become Argentina's largest fine wine exporter.

The vineyards for the Calcareo, as one might imagine, have a calcareous soil profile, and lie at more than 1,300 meters above sea level. Fighting to survive in these unique, extreme conditions, the vines have developed a resistance that results in robust, vibrant wines.

The fruit for this wine is harvested by hand following a process of careful bunch selection. After destemming, the juice undergoes fermentation initiated by natural yeasts in small concrete vats for a period of 15-18 days at 23°-25°C. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels of 60 hl capacity for 6 months.

The tannins play a huge role in this wine´s profile. It is bursting with flavour with a balanced delicious length. This demonstrates how Malbec responds to different soils in nearby vineyards - to be compared with Trapiche's Perfiles 'Textura Fina'. Grown on limestone, this has more lifted, floral aromas, alongside toasty oak. The texture is more delicate and satiny, and yet it still displays fine concentration and length.This Malbec is very full of structure, flavour & intensity.

ABV = 14.5%.

£16.75

Perfiles Malbec Textura Fina, Trapiche 2018 (1x75cl)

The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has earned its place as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. Led by Daniel Pi, their Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand. It is in this way that Trapiche has become Argentina's largest fine wine exporter.

The fruit for this wine is harvested by hand following a process of careful bunch selection. After destemming, the juice undergoes fermentation using natural yeasts in small concrete vats for a period of 15-18 days at 23°-25°C. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels of 60 hl capacity for 6 months.

The 2018 vintage can be described as a classic year for Mendoza Malbec. Low rainfall and cool temperatures in the harvest months of February to April gave rise to fruit with optimal ripeness, smooth tannins and fresh natural acid.

100% Malbec.

This demonstrates how Malbec responds to different soils - here, it's from vines grown on fine textured soils, rich in clay and silt - to be compared with the Perfiles Calcareo. Grown on clay soil, this has lovely creamy damson flavours, beautiful velvety texture and lovely lingering finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£16.65

Santa Ana Reserve Malbec 2018 (1x75cl)

Santa Ana was founded in 1891 by Luis Tirasso, an Italian immigrant and a pioneer in the development of winemaking in Argentina. With over 120 years experience in the wine industry, Santa Ana winery was one of the first to be founded in Argentina. All along, innovation has been their determinant attribute, as well as a key element to positioning themselves before the ever shifting consumer preferences. Technology and state-of-the-art winemaking techniques are driving forces for the company at present and signal their future.

Hand selected bunches are picked from superior quality vineyards within the Bodegas Santa Ana estate in Cuyo, Mendoza. Vines are planted on deep and stony soil. After de-stemming, the bunches are crushed and the juice is fermented (with seleted yeasts) with extended skin contact, beginning in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. 50% of the wine is finished/aged in both French and Americal barriques/barrels, a proportion of which are new. The wine is bottled after filtration and cold stabilisation.

The 2018 vintage can be described as a classic year for Mendoza Malbec. Low rainfall and cool temperatures in the harvest months of February to April gave rise to fruit with optimal ripeness, smooth tannins and fresh natural acid.

100% Malbec.

Dense purple in colour with bright brick red highlights. Powerfully aromatic, showing concentrated stone fruit aromas such as plums and prunes with a hint of spicy oak. The palate is medium to full bodied with a stylish balance between dense black fruit flavours, tightly knit fine grained tannin and judicious use of oak. Finishes firm and grippy - perfect for drinking with red meat! Sweet aromas of blackberries and plums are enhanced by subtle vanilla notes. Good structure and velvety texture, with soft tannins and long length.

A great partner to red meat dishes, particularly when a rich sauce has been used. Try it with a slow braised lamb shank with parsnip puree for example.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 13.5%.

£10.75

Terroir Series Finca Coletto,Trapiche 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 South American supplement article, Argentina: My Top 25.

Terroir Series Finca Coletto,Trapiche 2015 - April 2020 Decanter review

The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first of their fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has certainly earned its place as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. True to its origins, today Trapiche continues to seek out and use the latest and best practices available. Led by Daniel Pi, Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand. 

Hand harvesting is carried out and the grapes for this wine are transported back to the winery in 20 kg plastic cases. There is meticulous bunch selection before the grapes are destemmed. Only the best grapes are selected for inclusion. Fermentation takes place using only wild yeasts and maceration occurs in small concrete vats over 25 days, at 23-25ºC. Natural malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur.

The wine is aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels.

100% Malbec.

Aromas of black cherries and forest berries such as blackberries and blueberries. This wine is full bodied with juicy black fruits, soft tannins and an elegant finish. This is a Malbec with a deep and intense red-violet colour. The aromas are of red fruits, plums, black cherries and forest berries such as blackberries and blueberries. It is fresh and full as it enters the mouth, with sweet, juicy, ample tannins and a very elegant finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£28.15

Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza Gualtallary, Tupungato Malbec 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley. Hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina, the terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.

Gualtallary is located in one of Argentina's most outstanding vine growing valleys: the Uco Valley and is situated at 1,350 metres above sea level. This is one of the highest vine growing zones in the Province of Mendoza, sitting at the foot of the Tupungato volcano - one of the highest peaks in the Andes. The zone is characterised by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 20°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit. This combination of cool climate and very specific white chalky soil, gives the wine great structure and a delicious acidity.

For the second year in a row, the 2017 vintage produced very low yields, but this resulted in excellent fruit concentration in the berries. It was a vintage of balance; there is a beautiful harmony between the acidity and sugar levels and the powerful aromatics.

The alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place in egg-shaped containers made of cement. Their shape helps to keep the liquid to move constantly, so the temperature is more consistent and the lees remain constantly in suspension. The resulting wine achieves a greater character and volume on the palate. Following the fermentation, the wine was aged for 12 months in the same container, with a view to conserving its pure, authentic character, without interference from any other influence such oak from another terroir.

100% Malbec.

A deep, intense and complex example of a Gualtallary Malbec, with the typical aromas of chalk, flint, and mineral tones. Structured and voluminous on the palate with a silky texture, this is poised and direct, with a refreshing quality. This is a gastronomic wine which pairs beautifully with red meats, pasta and rabbit.

ABV = 13.5%.

£17.05
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