93pts Wine Enthusiast, #4 Wine of the Year 2020
94pts James Suckling
Usually by the time the Top 100 lists from the big wine publications and critics come out in November and December, many of the wines have already disappeared from the market. Especially high scoring, top 10 quality wines that sell for less than $50. So were not sure what happened with the Luca, as it hadn't been released from the winery when the Wine Enthusiast's 2020 Top 100 came out. But it's finally here now and we've been allocated just 3 cases of this amazing Malbec.
A scion of Argentina's "first family" of wines, the Catenas, Laura Catena followed in the footsteps of winemaking & Medical Dr. father and split her time between Argentina and San Francisco, CA where she is an emergency room physician. While the Catena family has extensive vineyard holdings throughout Mendoza, for her small production Luca label Laura champions small growers who lovingly tend some of the region's oldest vines.
This bottling comes from vineyards in La Consulta and Gualtallary regions of the Uco valley with the average age of the vines 51+ years. The final blend spent 14 months aging in French barrels, 35% of them new, yielding a wine that is remarkably purple in the glass. The delicate, fruity nose ranges from sour cherry to blackberry with hints of syrup and mint. A very interesting wine, it is fruity but presents a firm, fleshy palate, tacky tannins and a juicy flow with a pleasantly contained freshness.