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These single-vineyard bottlings are like a snapshot of the place, and the 2016 Gran Enemigo El Cepillo Single Vineyard capture the wilderness and the (scarce) local vegetation of the place: thyme, rosemary, rockrose—austere and perfumed but not exotic. The cracked black peppercorn note on the palate reminded me that this is (mostly) a Cabernet Franc, with its fine-grained tannins and its long and dry finish. 2016 was an unusual year, with lots of rain and cooler temperatures that complicated things in many places, but it was exceptional in many high-altitude locations within the Valle de Uco where El Cepillo is. This is both powerful and delicate, while the 2015 is more direct. This is simply superb. 4,000 bottles were filled in late 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPPlenty of black-pepper, cardamom and black-clove aromas follow through to a full body with firm, silky tannins that provide a polished, creamy texture on the palate. Driven and focused, though there’s an underlying level of softness. Drinkable now, but better in 2022 and onwards.James Suckling | 97 JSPampa El Cepillo is located to the south of the Uco Valley. One of the coolest regions at the best of times, in a cool year expertise is required to produce good wine. In this case, the northern and southern faces of the vineyard were harvested at different times, the former fermented with 30% stalks. Bright purple in the glass. The work done with the wine comes out in the aromas: curry, cumin and violet notes join sour cherry, blackberry and wood, along with a whiff of blood. The firm tannins deliver grip and acidity, bringing juice and reaffirming the structure. This is a very intense, long-lasting red with its own script.Vinous Media | 95 VM
The 2017 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard didn’t show any heat or excess ripeness from a warm and dry year. On the contrary, it’s austere and has citrus acidity, with great freshness and minerality. The palate is super austere with vibrant acidity—by far the highest among the Gran Enemigo bottlings—and very fine, chalky tannins. This is remarkable, serious, balanced and fresh with a very, very long and salty finish. This fermented in barrels with 100% full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in centenary oak foudres for 15 months. 3,000 bottles were filled in July 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPPretty aromas of plum, blueberry, rose hip, lavender, sandalwood and oyster shell. It’s medium-to full-bodied with silky, seamless tannins. So pure and elegant with gorgeous layers of cool blue fruit. Saline and coffee notes, too. Long and evolving. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2017 Cabernet Franc Gran Enemigo Single Vineyard Gualtallary has a 15% dash of Malbec from Gualtallary, Uco Valley and was 30% fermented in whole bunches before aging for 15 months in barrels and foudres. A rich, dense purple thanks to the altitude, the complex, ripe nose presents notes of sour cherry and blackcurrant along with country herbs, jalapeño and ash. Juicy and intense with a compact flow, the core resounds with freshness underneath finely grained tannins and an energy that keeps the wine going. The very definition of power and flavor in which the varietal has been shaped by the terroir.Vinous Media | 95 VM
So much orange peel to the dark berries and ripe fruit. But never over the top. Medium-to full-bodied with medium-round tannins and a savory finish. Just a hint of chocolate and walnut. Nice subtlety to the depth. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 94 JSFollowing the path of the 2018, the 2019 Appellation Paraje Altamira Malbec is phenomenal. It shows freshness, elegance, balance, complexity and nuance as well. It’s seamless, precise and ethereal with lots of inner energy and light. As the 2018 was, it’s expressive and floral, varietal and with the full chalky texture that is a distinct characteristic of Altamira. It’s tasty, the tannins are polished and there is an almost salty sensation in the finish. It was bottled in April 2020, and volume has now grown to 54,000 bottles.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPParaje Altamira is one of the most popular terroirs in Argentina. This Malbec was aged in 35% new wood and possesses a nose of fresh boysenberry, blackberry and plum plus well-defined notes of violet and herb. In the mouth it shifts from chalky texture to voluminous freshness, with tight, polished tannins that shape the long, fruity finish. A textbook wine for the terroir.Vinous Media | 92 VM
An alluring array of ripe red-berry and plum aromas with a floral, violet-like edge and appealing oak influence, too. The palate has a very plush, open feel with medium body and a fresh, juicy finish. Poached red-berry finish. So charming. Discreetly brilliant blending at work here. A blend of malbec 75% bonarda 19% and petit verdot 6%. Drink now.James Suckling | 94 JSThe subtle, balanced and elegant 2019 DV Catena Tinto Histórico was produced with a blend of 75% Malbec, 19% Bonarda and 6% Petit Verdot, and each grape seems to contribute nicely to the blend, making it balanced, harmonious and complex and especially very likeable and drinkable. It has moderate alcohol, round tannins and a lively and fresh mouthfeel. 117,600 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2020.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91+ RPA blend of 75% Malbec, 19% Bonarda, and 6% Petit Verdot from different terroirs – Valle de Uco, Luján de Cuyo and Rivadavia – aged for 12 months in barrels used in varying amounts in different locations, this is a red that evokes the profile of another time, hence the name. The nose presents sweet and sour cherry and plum followed, by an indulgent expression and fleshy mouthfeel wrapped in a fresh coating. The tannins come out at the end, tightening things up without going too far. For classic tastes.Vinous Media | 91 VM
Perfumed and very inviting on the nose, with gorgeous, expressive fresh red berry aromatics, and then on to a velvety palate laced with lush black fruit, graceful yet focused tannins and a beautiful, clean mineral texture. Alc 14.5%Decanter | 97 DECAromas of cooked cherries, ripe plums, blueberries, violets and sweet spices. Medium- to full-bodied with fine, creamy tannins. Ample and soft with dark-cherry character on the center-palate and a fruity finish. Drink now.James Suckling | 91 JS
A delicious, creamy white with lemon-rind, dried-apple and pear character. Medium to full body, with energetic acidity and a polished finish. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 94 JSThe 2019 G Lot Chardonnay was produced with grapes from a plot in the Adrianna vineyard that was planted in Gualtallary in 1992 at almost 1,500 meters above sea level. This fermented in 500-liter oak barrels, 25% of them new, where it matured for one year. It has a classical nose of barrel-fermented Chardonnay, with spicy, smoky and toasty notes from the barrels combined with white fruit and flowers. The palate is sharp and austere, combining freshness and structure, creamy oak and chalky minerality. 30,000 bottles were filled in February 2020.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPGrapes from Gualtallary handled elegantly: 30% aged for 12 months in new French oak while the rest sat in used barrels. Golden yellow in the glass, the 2019 Chardonnay Luca delivers a nose of vanilla, hazelnuts, corn and ginger with juicy hints of fresh pear. Both smooth and fleshy, the freshness brings a chalkiness to the flavors underlined by the smoke in the very lengthy finish. A Californian style wine.Vinous Media | 92 VMBig and rich, with a luscious allure to the ripe apple and creamy baked pear flavors filled with concentrated spice and pastry accents. Savory hints on the firm and well-structured finish. Drink now through 2024. 800 cases made, 800 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 90 WSA smooth mix of melon, tropical fruit, vanilla and woody aromas open this high-elevation, mostly barrel-fermented Chardonnay that’s balanced yet a touch creamy in feel. Light oak, buttered white-bread toast and subtle white-fruit flavors are short on a plump finish. Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE
The 2020 Chardonnay Adrianna Vineyard White Stones from Gualtallary, Uco Valley, was barrel-aged for 16 months. Greenish-yellow in the glass. The intense, layered nose presents bold aromas of green apple, pear, hints of linden blossom and ginger with touches of lemon and herbs. In the mouth, it’s concentrated, rooted in a lively, heightened freshness while maintaining the variety’s expansive flow, which also delivers salinity and long-lasting flavor. A thrilling white that defines this nook of the Uco Valley.Vinous Media | 97 VMLemon zest, pineapple, white pepper, cloves, jasmine, crushed stones and chalk on the nose. Medium-bodied, focused and phenolic. Very fine, mineral and tight with persistent energy and vivid acidity. Creamy, with salted-almond notes at the end. Drink from 2023.James Suckling | 97 JSI had the opportunity to taste two vintages (2020 and 2021) of the top whites side by side and could see the differences of the two years quite clearly, as the wines express the natural conditions of the year quite faithfully. The 2020 White Stones Chardonnay is riper than the other three wines; it’s a very good wine, but it shows the warmer year with a rounder mouthfeel, faintly creamy, still a little closed in the nose, which slowly reveals yellow fruit and some spice. The palate is quite gentle, with 13% alcohol and very good balance. 7,500 bottles produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPCatena Zapata was founded in 1902, with a focus on high altitude plantings in Mendoza. Its famed Adrianna vineyard sits above 1,450m, ensuring a quality crop with good acid retention as a result of the cool night-time temperatures. The wine is 100% Chardonnay from a small selection of vines on stony, free-draining soils with a topsoil of oval-shaped white stones. Fermented in French oak, the wine also goes through partial malolactic fermentation before ageing 12-16 months in seasoned French oak barrels with batonnage throughout. Amanda Barnes: Great purity and wet stone character. Vibrant acidity and great tension on the finish. Ben Gubbins MW: Fresh, light and vibrant with red apple skin, lemon, good intensity and tension. Dirceu Vianna Junior MW: Graceful and attractive with lovely aromas of citrus fruits, yellow plum, star fruit, fresh dough and hints of sweet spices. Refined, silky texture and beautiful underlining freshness. Drinking Window: 2022 - 2032Decanter | 95 DECRestrained and elegant, with floral citrus and melon flavors and powerful minerality adding texture and expanding its presence. Ends with spicy details and hints of cream. Drink now through 2026. 540 cases made, 200 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 90 WS
What an exotic, perfumed yet elegant nose here full of thyme, local herbs, green papaya, ginger and green curry. Lemon grass and lime zest. So fresh and elegant on the palate with a chalky texture to the center-palate. Really transparent, subtle, quiet and long. A unique chardonnay from a cool and elegant vintage, but intense and idiosyncratic. Unique to the landscape. Drink now or hold.James Suckling | 99 JSThe 2021 White Bones Chardonnay was harvested at two different points of ripeness and then blended into the final wine, which is subtler than the explosive 2020 I tasted next to it but with the same palette of aromas—thyme, rosemary, lavender, rockrose, white flowers, citrus, pine needles, incense, curry and spices—and the palate is seamless, mineral and with a chalky texture. It’s brilliant and expresses the variety, vintage and soil perfectly, but today I give the edge to the 2020, which I think transcends the vintage. 6,240 bottles produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPThe 2021 Chardonnay Adrianna Vineyard White Bones hails from Gualtallary, Uco Valley. It was aged for up to 16 months in used French barrels. An alluring yellow hue with a greenish sheen. The cool year imparted a distinctive, complex character featuring herbal aromas enriched by hop, sage, and thyme alongside hints of curry and acacia over a delicate layer of rose before late-developing pear and green apple notes. The palate has a lean, focused character, with a chalky texture and electric, saline energy enhancing the refreshing mouthfeel. A truly outstanding mountain Chardonnay.Vinous Media | 98 VMDistinctive and gorgeously layered, with intense savory aromas of pineapple sage, ginger and chive flower that join the vibrant palate, bursting with tangelo and white peach flavors. Ends on a clean and refreshing note, with wet stone details, echoing back to the persistent core flavors. Drink now through 2033. 520 cases made, 225 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WS
The 2021 White Stones Chardonnay is subtler and more elegant, a little closed with moderate ripeness and alcohol (12.5%) and a mineral palate with strong chalky sensations. It might be worth reproducing their explanation about this wine, one of the finest whites in Argentina: "The term ’white stones’ refers to the composition of said rows of soil, with white oval stones covered by gravel. The vineyard ’Adrianna’ is planted at an altitude of almost 1,500 meters above sea level, in the district of Gualtallary in Tupungato. The stony soil prevents deep root growth, providing optimum drainage. These soils are very poor in organic matter and contribute to support vines’ permanent stress conditions. The cool nights allow for very slow ripening, optimal acid retention and low yields." This is serious and tasty. 7,300 bottles produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPA very mineral, flinty chardonnay full of wet stones, lime and some green fruit. Austere and chalky on the medium-bodied palate, really transparent and elegant with super bright and beautifully integrated acidity. Pure, linear and long. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2021 Chardonnay Adrianna Vineyard White Stones comes from Gualtallary, Uco Valley. It was aged for up to 16 months in used barrels. Pale yellow in the glass with a greenish sheen. The enticing aromatic profile presents pear and mountain herb notes with acacia, gunpowder, and hazelnut over layers of linden blossom and mint. However, it is on the palate, where this wine truly comes into its own: tart and sculpted with a chalky texture and saline flavor, it ends with complex, lingering fruit and herb flavors. A distinctive high-altitude Chardonnay from a cool year.Vinous Media | 97 VMThis white has a lovely gardenia undercurrent, with a fleshy core of white peach, melon and citrus. Picks up a layer of clean minerality before ending on a lightly spiced note. Drink now through 2028. 560 cases made, 200 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WS
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