2018 Casarena "Naoki's Vineyard" Malbec Agrelo (Previously $30)

SKU #1633766 93 points Decanter

Outer quote mark The Naoki Vineyard is planted on a steep east-west slope at 950m in Agrelo, producing this expressive Malbec, which is hand-harvested and aged for 12 months in new and used French oak. Elegant black fruit aromas, edged in vanilla, spice and floral notes. There's lovely depth of velvety black fruit, interwoven with spice, plus fine tannins and a savoury bite to the finish. A cracking match for steak. (JS) Inner quote mark (4/2022)

93 points Tim Atkin

Outer quote mark Naoki’s Vineyard is the stoniest and the chalkiest of Casarena’s single parcels and it shows in the style of this wine. Scented, elegant and racy, it’s a refined Malbec with restrained oak, lots of zip and acidity, refreshing minerality, red berry fruit and engaging perfume and balance. Lovely winemaking from Leandro Azin. Inner quote mark

92 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Part of the single-vineyard range, the 2018 Malbec Naoki's Vineyard comes from their Naoki vineyard in Agrelo in Luján de Cuyo. The range ferments part in stainless steel and part in oak barrel, and the wine matured in 60% new barrique for 12 months. They think this part of Agrelo is different and have requested for it to become a new, separate appellation. The wine is elegant and floral, with a vibrant palate, fresh and tasty. This is the coolest of the single-vineyard Malbecs. 25,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2019. (LG) 92+ Inner quote mark (10/2019)

91 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Quiet assertive blackcurrants and hints of mountain herbs on the nose with a waft of crushed violets. The palate has a smoothly polished texture and delivers a strong blueberry and blue-plum finish. (JS) Inner quote mark (3/2019)

90 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Naoki Vineyard is located in an unusual, hilly region of Agrelo, and 30% of this Malbec was fermented in oak and the rest in concrete, followed by 12 months in first-use French barrels. Makes quite an impression with its intense aromas of ripe fruit, plum and smoky, cigar box wood along with ash and violet notes. Indulgent on the palate, delivering juicy freshness and firm tannins that provide structure. Ripe flavors come out in the mouth, followed by a woody finish. (JH) Inner quote mark (8/2020)

K&L Notes

Named for the owners' grandchild, this wonderful, supple Malbec comes from vines planted on a block with limestone and abundant marine fossils. Agrelo, the village where Catena's main winery is based, has long been known as a premier district for both Cabernet and Malbec, an area where elegant wines with nicely rounded tannins and terrific fruit expression are regularly made.

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