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IWC 93

A field blend of approximately 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, which is really floral and aromatic, very showy. The violet aromas remind me of a Touriga Nacional from Portugal. It has some burned skin character, and I’d normally say roasted, smoky or toasty, which is what I feel, but there are no barrels involved there, so it has to be the high phenolics in the wine. It is a big wine but with a sense of elegance and balance. Quite an extreme red. Drink 2014-2017.
WA 89

The oily/olive sensations are even stronger in the 2011 Grand Vin, a blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Malbec that is ripe and matured in oak barrels, which added spicy sensations. Juicy and heady, this is slightly sweet toward the finish.

- Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (May, 2015)
JS 92

Earthy and intense with dried meat, yet it remains fresh and stylish. Full body, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. All there. Decadent style.

- James Suckling (June, 2015)
WS 90

Rich and well-structured, with loads of minerality to the pepper-accented dried raspberry and red plum flavors. Hazelnut details linger on the plush, cream-filled finish. Drink now through 2020.

- Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2017)

WA 91, V 91

There is a big jump to the top of the range, in all senses, making, quality... and price. The 2011 Gran Corte is a blend that is more or less replicated each vintage. This 60% Malbec, 20% Syrah and 20% Cabernet Franc wine aged for 24 months in brand new French oak barrels. This feels more like a Bordeaux than its siblings do. It has plenty of influence from the élevage (still at age four) with toasty oak, sweet spices and smoke enveloping a core of ripe berry fruit. The palate is medium to full-bodied with abundant, grainy tannins that need more time in bottle to get polished. The acidity is enough, and the wine feels quite fresh, but you still notice the faint bitter flavors of the oak in the finish. It should develop in bottle for some time. 30,000 bottles produced.

Flechas de los Andes is one of the components of the Clos de los 7 group of Bordeaux wineries that established themselves in Vista Flores in the Uco Valley. It's owned by Benjamín de Rothschild and Laurent Dassault. They work 105 hectares of vineyards from which they produce around 600,000 bottles per year, but do not think about Lafite's ambition level if you cross paths with one of these bottles, the wines are in a completely different price ballpark.

- Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2015)
WA 92, JS 91

Decero produce some of the best Petit Verdot in Argentina, and they are capable of convincing the skeptics with examples like the 2012 Remolinos Vineyard Mini Ediciones Petit Verdot that does not show the aggressiveness often associated with the grape. There is perfect ripeness here, no excess and no charred or toasted sensations either from the grape or the élevage (which is always pristine at this address). Polished tannins, very good balance and a sleek palate, the house signature is also applied to this finicky Bordeaux grape. 12,400 bottles produced.

Finca Decero, the Agrelo estate planted in the year 2000, keeps producing prodigious examples from the region. Polished, very drinkable wines that reflect place and vintage. Some might say technological, but I think they are superb.

- Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2015)
WA 95, WE 95

Part of the single-vineyard series, the 2012 Malbec Temis is produced with the fruit from vines averaging over 70 years old at El Cepillo in the Uco Valley. The grapes fermented in small, 52-hectoliter cement vats and the wine matured in 100% new French oak barrels for one year. This is the coolest of the three vineyard-designated bottlings, and the wine seems to have a livelier color, nose and palate. There's more stony minerality here, plus a suppleness and a freshness that I don't get in the others. The full-bodied palate is compact, but without any excess, and is very balanced within its large size. Serious and concentrated, a wine to age for a long time in bottle. The oak only shows with extended aeration, another sign of a wine that will only get better in bottle. If you're on the lookout for a serious, mineral, terroir-driven Malbec, this one is for you.

- Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2015)
WS 91

Ripe and rich, with muscular flavors of blackberry, dark plum and cherry tart, laced with savory accents. Offers sanguine notes midpalate, finishing with hints of slate and black peppercorn. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Bonarda. Drink now through 2021. 250 cases imported.

- Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2016)
JS 98, WE 94

Incredible aromas of spice, cedar, walnut and dark berry. Floral too. Spectacular nose. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a racy and refined finish. Fresh and succulent. Made from old vines of mablec in Compuertas and cabernet sauvignon from Altamira. Such finesse. The best wine ever from the Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolas Catena winery. Drink or hold.

- James Suckling (Sept, 2015)
WA 93

The top of the range, the 2013 Decero Amano Remolinos Vineyard is superb in a fresh vintage like 2013. This time the blend was 65% Malbec, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Tannat. The élevage might sound a bit brutal, with 20-22 months in brand new oak barrels, but sometimes longer is better once you have used new barrels and although it's slightly oaky and smoky, all the violets and cherries are also there, and I'm sure it' will develop into a nice bottle of Agrelo. The palate reveals sophisticated tannins and elegant balance, with good freshness and a remarkable finish. Patience should be rewarded.

- Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 91+

The 2013 Primum Malbec, also called Primus in some markets, comes mostly from their El Oasis vineyard at 1,200 meters altitude with some 15% of the volume sourced from plot 22 of La Pamapa that is located a little higher, at 1,300 meters. It fermented in a combination of oak vats (80%) and barriques and matured in barrel, where it also went through malolactic fermentation, for some 18 months. There is quite a noticeable influence from the barrels here, with plenty of smoky aromas. Here you see the hand of the winemaker more than in the single vineyard bottling, which shows more the Malbec from each place. The palate is full-bodied and lush, with glossy tannins and a spicy, smoky finish.

- Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 93

Bodega Goulart’s 2008 Malbec (100%) spent 24 months in new French oak. The fruit was sourced from the estate’s oldest vines (95 years of age) and the wine was made by Luis Barraud and Andrea Marchiori (who, along with Paul Hobbs, produce Vina Cobos). A glass-coating opaque purple color, it emits inviting aromas of pencil lead, smoke, espresso, truffle, black cherry, boysenberry, and blackberry. Opulent on the palate with layers of ripe, succulent fruit, exceptional volume, and precision balance, it has the structure to evolve for several more years and will be delivering pleasure through its 20th birthday.

- Jay Miller, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2010)
JS 95, WS 93

A red with ripe berry and plum aromas. Dried flowers. Full body, layered and gorgeous fruit. Tight and beautiful. Small production. Generous and opulent yet agile and fresh. Drink or hold.

- James Suckling (May, 2016)
WA 94

The 2008 El Gran Enemigo Malbec contains small quantities of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in its blend. It has a dense purple color and an alluring nose of sandalwood, exotic spices, incense, lavender, a hint of balsamic, and black cherry. Ripe, sweetly-fruited, and voluptuous, this layered, spicy offering mandates 3-4 years of cellaring and will deliver prime drinking from 2014 to 2023+.

- Jay Miller, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2011)
WS 93, WE 92

Explosively fruity and concentrated, with luscious flavors of raspberry preserves, blackberry pie and dark plum that feature plenty of Asian spice notes. Cocoa powder and vanilla accents linger on the rich finish. Drink now through 2022. 80 cases imported.

- Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator (2017)
WA 95, JS 94

The 2010 Gran Enemigo Agrelo Single Vineyard is from clay soils in a cool vintage. The palate is electric, with citric (pomegranate and blood orange) flavors, completely vertical. I like this much better than the 2009 vintage, but I still prefer the wines from Gualtallary. It is interesting to note that in years with higher acidity he uses less SO2. This is truly vertical. Only 3,500 bottles were produced. Very good value. Drink 2015-2022.

Aleanna is a combination of the names Alejandro Vigil and Adrianna Catena, (winemaker and youngest daughter) of Nicolas Catena and is the name given to their small joint venture. El Enemigo (The Enemy) is the name of the wines produced here, some of which are almost experimental and offered in limited quantities. All the wines were initially fermented in old barriques and old wood vats to avoid excessive influence of the oak in the wines, but they are now moving toward cement vats without epoxy lining and aging in used 225-liter barrels and in 4,000-liter, 100-year-old foudres. I had the great pleasure and superb learning experience to slowly taste the 2009 and 2010 vintages of the Gran Enemigo single-vineyard wines and experience the differences of the vintages and the soils from Agrelo and Gualtallary transparently reflected in the wines. That’s what I call true wines of terroir. There are different bottlings of the Gran Enemigo cuvee, some blending fruit from Gualtallary and Agrelo, but certainly the most interesting ones are the single-vineyard ones. For these the blend is Cabernet Franc with some 15-20% Malbec and the wines are never acidified. The goal is to achieve 13% natural alcohol in the wines, but it has to be done in the vineyard, not with adjustments in the winery. The difference in soils is clear: Agrelo is at 900 meters altitude and the soils are pure clay, a cool soil, but the air is warm. The vineyard in Gualtallary is at 1,480 meters above sea level with 12,000 plants per hectare with pure calcite (planted by Alejandro Sejanovich who used to be vineyard manager at Catena, and was the one who hired Alejandro Vigil). The results speak for themselves, but if you want figures, the wines from Agrelo have seven grams of acidity (which is very high), while the ones from Gualtallary have nine grams (which is almost insane). In both cases pH is around 3.5. Malolactic fermentation is partial.

- Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (April, 2014)
WS 96

This pure, racy red exhibits a dark side, with layers of spice, graphite and maduro tobacco to the crushed raspberry, blackberry and concentrated cassis fruit. Needs time in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2022.

- Wine Spectator (Nov, 2013)
WS 96, WA 95, JS 95

The 2011 Malbec Finca Altamira is a subzone from La Consulta in the Uco Valley, which is located at 1,050 meters above sea level on the east bank of the Tunuyan River. The soils have big boulders and volcanic ashes, and there is an important component of calcium carbonate. This is the first old vineyard they found, and it produces a very dark-colored, bright, wine with a subtle nose, mixing flowers (violets) and red, blue and black fruit, with hints of spices and a velvety feeling. The palate is medium-bodied, silky, with an impressive acid spine and completely ripe and round tannins. The velvety feeling is also confirmed in the texture, which displays a long tactile sensation mixing electricity, minerality and very good acidity. A superb wine! Drink 2014-2025.

- Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (April, 2014)