Thursday, September 18, 2008


The Wine Spectator highlights the producers of Vine Connections (once again!)...

Here's a selection of new releases that demonstrates what Argentina does best: lots of vivid, ripe fruit flavors with rich but fresh finishes, all with lots of bang for the buck.

All the wines here are under $30, some under $20, and they represent the efforts of some of Argentina's best winemakers. Luis Reginato is one of them—he fashions the wines for both Laura Catena's Luca brand as well as the La Posta del Viñatero label. Roberto de la Mota, undaunted by a car accident that has left him using a wheelchair, has Bodega Mendel already among Argentina's elite wineries in just its third vintage...while Susana Balbo's Dominio del Plata winery produces both the muscular BenMarco styled wines her viticulturalist ex-husband, Pedro Marchevsky, prefers, as well as her more polished, suave eponymous line.

LUCA Syrah Uco Valley Laborde Double Select 2006 Score: 91 | $25
Rich, toasty, ambitious style, with lots of flashy mocha, blueberry compote, blackberry and boysenberry fruit. Lushly textured, with a long, creamy finish that lets the exotic fruit echo. Drink now through 2010. 2,500 cases made.
MAPEMA Malbec Mendoza 2006 Score: 90 | $20
Ripe and forward with dark licorice, fig, currant preserve and chocolate notes riding along round, rich tannins. Rock solid finish. Drink now through 2010. 2,000 cases made.
DOMINIO DEL PLATA Malbec Mendoza Susana Balbo 2007 Score: 90 | $27
Sports an enticing mocha and spice filled nose, along with creamy raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors that carry through the lengthy, pure finish. Drink now through 2009. 6,000 cases made.—J.M.
LA POSTA DEL VIÑATERO Malbec Mendoza Angel Paulucci Vineyard 2007 Score: 90 | $18
Juicy and ripe, with lots of fig, blackberry, mocha and currant paste notes that pump through the rich, fleshy finish. Solid acidity keeps it honest. Drink now through 2010. 8,000 cases made. —J.M.

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