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Dueling 90-pointers from Argentina - 09/14/2009 - Argentina

Hollywood’s own Keith Mabry and Redwood City-based South American wine buyer Joe Manekin recently came across these two outstanding wines from Argentina. Why don’t you try both and see if you prefer the SoCal or NorCal pick. Whomever's wine sells less is fired, so pick wisely. Just joking…

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2007 Bodega Elvira Calle "Ca' de Calle" Gran Reserva Mendoza, Argentina ($12.99)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Very polished, with a suave mocha note weaving through the crushed red plum, raspberry and boysenberry fruit, backed by a spicy note on the velvety finish. Drink now. 500 cases made." (08/09) The Ca' de Calle is a blend of Malbec, Bonarda, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This kitchen sink style blend is made in the vein of Sean Thackrey's Pleiades or Owen Roe's Abbot's Table, it just happens to be from Argentina. The wine is loaded with black fruit flavors, spice box aromas and a subtle, smoky finish. It's nice to see all of Mendoza's best varietals working in conjunction together. (Keith Mabry, K&L Hollywood)

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 04, 2009

The wine is loaded with black fruit flavors, spice box aromas and a subtle, smoky finish. It's nice to see all of Mendoza's best varietals working in conjunction together.

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2007 Durigutti Malbec Mendoza ($12.99)

90 points and a Smart Buy, Wine Spectator: "Quite ripe and toasty, with a hefty dose of mocha and coffee laid over the fleshy dark plum, currant and blackberry fruit. This stays toasty through the finish, but it's well-integrated, with the fruit an equal match. Drink now through 2010." (Web only, 2009) I was quite taken with this Malbec for its impressive display of classic varietal character: dark fruits, particularly blackberry, with a wonderful violet flavor providing lift on the mid-palate towards the finish, as well as the mineral component which good old vine Malbec all too seldom displays. It is a terrific expression for very little money. (Joe Manekin, South American wine buyer, K&L Redwood City)

Up the ante of this battle royale with more wines from Argentina, more than 75 available at KLWines.com