September 2008
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Luca Winery Debuts New Wine

Luca Winery Debuts New Wine from Argentina's Original Double Massal Selection Syrah Vineyard

Luca Wines' recent release signals winery owner Laura Catena's ongoing commitment to work with one-of-a-kind vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina. Using high altitude, cool-climate Syrah grown by pioneering grape grower Luis Laborde in Argentina's first Syrah vineyard, Catena has crafted a world class wine in a region just now becoming known for this grape variety.

Mendoza, Argentina (PRWEB) September 29, 2008 — Luca Winery, the Argentine winery famed for producing fine wines in partnership with small family growers, has released its Luca "Laborde Double Select," produced from Argentina's first double massal selection Syrah vineyard.

Over half a century ago, viticulturist Luis Laborde began creating what is believed to be Argentina's first Syrah vineyard planted through double massal selection. Laborde first traveled through France's Rhone Valley and brought back a selection of the best mix of Syrah vines (not clones) back to Mendoza. After planting them in a local research vineyard and tracking each vine's quality, he again selected the best of the best individual vines to plant in his own 10-acre vineyard in Argentina's Uco Valley.

Luis Laborde was a true pioneer for his time
"Luis Laborde was a true pioneer for his time," says Laura Catena. "In the 1960's, when he went to France in search of the finest Syrah plants to import to Argentina, there were no Syrah plantings in Washington State, almost none in California, South Africa or Chile — all New World regions that today are making a name with Syrah."

Laborde had a vision for Syrah in Argentina, and he was right to think that Syrah would perform well in Mendoza. Because of the cool mountain climate and the very sunny dry days, Syrah is ideally suited to Mendoza's high altitude climate for many of the same reasons that Malbec is so well suited to Mendoza. Both Malbec and Syrah are varieties that benefit from intense sunlight and a cool climate, developing more intense aromatics and greater tannin levels under these conditions.

Catena continues, "The Laborde vineyard is not only unique for its double massal selection, but also for the fact that the plants are own-rooted (ungrafted), which I always prefer because it makes it so much easier to keep yields low and achieve plant balance." She adds, "Own-rooted Syrah vineyards are practically non-existent outside of Australia, and even in Australia old vine acreage is extremely limited."

The 45-year-old Laborde vineyard is a real gem. The purity and density of the Luca Syrah speaks to Laborde's passion for Syrah and to his vision that Syrah could make a great wine in Mendoza, Argentina.

Mendoza now has more land planted to Syrah (22,000 acres) than California.

Luca Laborde Double Select Syrah 2006, 91 points, The Wine Spectator, September 12, 2008
Suggested Retail Price: $25

Luca Wines www.lucawines.com is imported to the US by Vine Connections of Sausalito, CA. Vine Connections www.vineconnections.com pioneered the first portfolio of boutique Argentine wines in the U.S. in 1999, and continues to focus on authentic, native-made wines.

For more information on Luca Wines:
Dan Fredman, 323-899-9463, dan@danfredman.com


International Wine Cellar Issue 140 Sept 08 - WOW!

<em>From the Rare Wine Company</em><br /><strong>Fichet</strong> &#x2013; It&#x2019;s worth pointing out Fichet&#x2019;s scores in comparison to estates like Coche-Dury &amp; Roulot. Fichet&#x2019;s lieux-dits stack up very favorably!<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Bourgogne VV &#x2013; &#x201C;a Meursault-like outperformer &#x2026;&#x201D; (no score given)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Meursault &#x2013; &#x201C;Very Meursault &#x2026; 88 pts&#x201D;<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Meursault &#x201C;Meix sous le Chateau&#x201D; &#x2013; &#x201C;&#x2026;expressive wine with a tactile, aromatic finish &#x2026; 89 pts.&#x201D;<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Meursault &#x201C;Gruyaches&#x201D; &#x2013; &#x201C;Offers a lovely, light touch &#x2026; 91 pts&#x201D;<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Meursault &#x201C;Tessons&#x201D; &#x2013; &#x201C;&#x2026;should reward for our five years of aging &#x2026; 92+ pts&#x201D;<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Puligny 1er &#x201C;Referts&#x201D; &#x2013; &#x201C;Really lovely fruit here, and terrific persistence &#x2026; 93 pts.&#x201D;<br /> <strong>Descendientes &#x2013;</strong> No Petalos review, but these Crus were among the highest scored wines in the issue.<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Moncebal &#x2013; &#x201C;&#x2026; won&#x2019;t let go of the palate &#x2026; 95 pts&#x201D; (early 2009 release)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Las Lamas &#x2013; &#x201C;Almost shockingly lively on the palate &#x2026;94 pts.&#x201D;&#xA0; (early 2009 release)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 La Faraona &#x2013; &#x201C;Talk about graceful; and I&#x2019;ll bet that this has more in the tank &#x2026; 95+ pts&#x201D;&#xA0; (early 2009 release)<br /> <strong>Olivares</strong> &#x2013; The 07s received identical scores to the 06s!<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2007 Altos de la Hoya &#x2013; &#x201C;Here&#x2019;s another crazy value &#x2026; 91 pts.&#x201D; (December arrival)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Dulce &#x2013; &#x201C;Far more energetic than most late-harvest wines &#x2026; 93 pts&#x201D; (early 2009 release)<br /> <strong>Alvaro Palacios<br /> </strong> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0; 2006 Les Terrasses &#x2013; &#x201C;I prefer this wine&#x2019;s vivacity to last year&#x2019;s version &#x2026; 91 pts.&#x201D;&#xA0; (2005 currently in stock)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Finca Dofi &#x2013; &#x201C;impressive mineral lift on the back end &#x2026; 93 pts&#x201D;&#xA0; (December arrival)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 L&#x2019;Ermita &#x2013; &#x201C;An extremely complex wine that is more about balance and finesse than brute strength .. 95 pts&#x201D; (December arrival)<br /> <strong>Atalayas de Golban<br /> </strong> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Ribera del Duero &#x2013; &#x201C;There&#x2019;s an intriguing Pinot-like focus and delicacy to this wine &#x2026; 91 pts&#x201D; (early 2009 release)<br /> <strong>Dominio de Atauta<br /> </strong> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Ribera del Duero &#x2013; &#x201C;Deep, chewy, and serious &#x2026; 90+pts&#x201D; (late October release)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Valdegatiles &#x2013; &#x201C;&#x2026;uncanny mineral lift and sappy Indian spices &#x2026; 93+pts&#x201D;&#xA0; (late October release)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 La Mala &#x2013; &#x201C;An enthralling wine &#x2026;95 pts&#x201D; (late October release)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Llanos del Almendro &#x2013; &#x201C;&#x2026;holds terrific promise &#x2026;94+pts&#x201D;&#xA0; (late October release)<br /> <strong>Dominio de Pingus<br /> </strong> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Flor de Pingus &#x2013; &#x201C;I like the wine&#x2019;s delicate touch &#x2026;93 pts&#x201D;&#xA0;&#xA0; (early 2009 release)<br /> &#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;2006 Pingus &#x2013; &#x201C;A superb showing&#x2026;95 pts&#x201D;&#xA0;&#xA0; (early 2009 release) <br /><br /><em>Ole Imports - see feature in recent news<br /><br />Epic Wines<br /></em><strong>Ata Rangi - New Zealand<br /></strong>&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0; 2007 Sauvignon Blanc - &quot;Juicy and intense...88 pts&quot;<br />&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0;&#xA0; 2006 Pinot Noir - &quot;Sexy...supple and nicely delineated...persistent finish...89pts&quot;<br /><br /><em>Rathbone Wine Group<br /></em><strong>Yering Station - Australia<br /></strong>2006 Chardonnay - 90pts<br />2006 Chardonnay Reserve - 91pts<br />2006 Pinot Noir Reserve - 92pts<br />2006 Shiraz/Viognier&#xA0; - 89pts<br />2006 Shiraz/Viognier Reserve - 92pts


Another big bang for Ole Imports - IWC 0908

<strong>International Wine Cellar - by Stephen Tanzer Issue Sept - Oct 2008<br /><br />89 2007 Vinos Sin-Ley G-2 Afinus Montsant</strong> <br /> ($9; 100% Garnacha, from 70-year-old vines) Bright ruby-red. Spicy raspberry and cherry on the nose, with subtle graphite and herbal qualities. Sweet red berry flavors are sharpened by baking spices and minerals, reminding me of pinot noir. A light-bodied, silky wine that is remarkably lithe and precise for this price point, and the finish is sweet, precise and long. I&#39;d love to see this up against a number of $30 pinots, from anywhere. <br /> <br /> <strong>89 2007 Vinos Jeromin Zestos Madrid </strong><br /> ($8; a 50/50 blend of tempranillo and garnacha) Deep, bright red. Fresh red berries and baking spices on the nose, with a suave floral quality adding complexity. Light-bodied raspberry and blackberry flavors are pure and straightforward, with no obvious tannins or rough edges. A late note of licorice lingers on the clean, juicy finish. A steal at this price. <br /> <br /> <strong>89 2007 Vinos Jeromin Zestos Especial Madrid </strong><br /> ($10; 85% tempranillo and 15% syrah) Vivid red. Spicy raspberry and cherry aromas are strikingly fresh and pure. Lively and incisive on the palate, with brisk flavors of wild strawberry, raspberry and cherry preserves. Minerals kick in on the finish, which is tangy, precise and quite long. These vines are reportedly more than 60 years old. (Ole Imports, New Rochelle, NY) <br /> <br /> <strong>93 2005 Hornillo Ballesteros Mibal Seleccion Ribera del Duero</strong> <br /> ($35) Saturated red color. Intensely mineral nose displays dark cherry, cassis, iron, graphite and baking spices. Deep and chewy, with primary dark fruit flavors and smoky Asian spice qualities. Really stains the palate, and there&#39;s no excess fat here. Becomes livelier with air and finishes with persistent sweetness and spiciness. Very nicely balanced, and built to age. <br /> <br /> <strong>90 2007 Hermanos del Villar Oro de Castilla Verdejo Rueda</strong> <br /> ($14) Pale gold. Vibrant, mineral-driven aromas of lemon, grapefruit and quince, with subtle anise and leesy notes adding depth. A precise, vibrant midweight, offering refreshingly bitter citrus and pear skin flavors and bracing minerality. This is surprisingly deep for such a nervy wine, and would be great with richer shellfish dishes. (Ole Imports, New Rochelle, NY) <br /> <br /> <strong>92 2006 Bodegas Licinia Licinia Madrid</strong> <br /> ($50; 40% syrah and 30% each of cabernet sauvignon and tempranillo) Opaque purple. Impressively complex, sexy bouquet of black raspberry, blueberry, licorice and violet; the syrah is really showing today. Bright red and dark berry flavors are focused and pure, with a zesty undertone of smoky minerals and candied flowers. An elegant, precise wine that combines power and delicacy, and finishes with persistent minerality. (Ole Imports, New Rochelle, NY)


A Big Bang for Ole Imports- Parker Issue 178

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate Issue 178, August 31, 2008
THE WORLD'S GREATEST WINE VALUES (The Most Comprehensive Bargain Guide Ever)

Ole Imports Scores with a Big Bang…

Spanish Wine Values - by Dr. Jay Miller
Exopto Cellars 2006 'Big Bang' (Ole Imports) - 90 points
Hermanos del Villar 2007 Oro de Castilla Verdejo (Ole Imports) 30cs on order - 88 points
Hornillos Ballesteros 2006 Mibal Tempranillo (Ole Imports) 30cs on order - 92 points
Pazo de Galegos 2007 Albarino (Ole Imports) 30cs on order - 90 points
VSL 2007 G2 (Garnacha) (Ole Imports) 60cs on order - 88 points
VSL 2007 GRA 2 (Graciano) Traza (Ole Imports) 30cs on order - 91 points
VSL 2007 M5 (Monastrell / 5) (Ole Imports) 60cs on order - 91 points
Vizcarra Ramos 2006 Roble (Tempranillo) (Ole Imports) - 90 points


Parker Issue 178 - World's Greatest Wine Values

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate Issue 178, August 31, 2008
THE WORLD'S GREATEST WINE VALUES - (Their Most Comprehensive Bargain Guide Ever)

Top Value Rhone Valley Wines - by Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Caillou 2006 Cote du Rhone Blanc Bouquet de Garrigues (North Berkeley Imports) - 89 points
La Milliere 2006 Cotes du Rhone 'Vieilles Vignes' (North Berkeley Imports) - 87 points

Top Value California Wines - by Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Melville 2006 Syrah Estate, 'Verna's', Santa Barbara - 93 points
Melville 2007 Viognier 'Verna's', Santa Barbara - 94 points
75 Wine 2007 Sauvignon Blanc - 88 points
75 Wine 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Amber Knolls Vineyard - 86 points

Discovering Italy's Finest Wine Values - by Antonio Galloni
Perrone 2007 Moscato d'Asti 'Sourgal' (Rare Wine Co.) - 90 points
Perrone 2007 'Bigaro' (Brachetto/Moscato) (Rare Wine Co.) - 90 points

Spanish Wine Values - by Dr. Jay Miller
Descendientes de Palacios 2006 Petalos, Bierzo (Rare Wine Co.) - 91 points
Exopto Cellars 2006 'Big Bang' (Ole Imports) - 90 points
Hermanos del Villar 2007 Oro de Castilla Verdejo (Ole Imports) 30cs on order - 88 points
Hornillos Ballesteros 2006 Mibal Tempranillo (Ole Imports) 30cs on order - 92 points
Pazo de Galegos 2007 Albarino (Ole Imports) 30cs on order - 90 points
Raventos NV (2005) Cava Brut 'L'Hereu' (Michael Skurnik) - 90 points
Raventos 2003 Gran Reserva de la Finca Brut (Michael Skurnik) - 91 points
VSL 2007 G2 (Garnacha) (Ole Imports) 60cs on order - 88 points
VSL 2007 GRA 2 (Graciano) Traza (Ole Imports) 30cs on order - 91 points
VSL 2007 M5 (Monastrell / 5) (Ole Imports) 60cs on order - 91 points
Vizcarra Ramos 2006 Roble (Tempranillo) (Ole Imports) - 90 points

Burgundy: Are There Any Values Left? - by David Schildknecht
J.P Fichet 2006 Bourgogne Aligote (Rare Wine Co.) 5cs on order - 88 points
J.P Fichet 2006 Bourgogne Blanc (Rare Wine Co.) 6cs on order - 89 points
F. Magnien 2006 Pinot Noir (Bourgogne Rouge) (North Berkeley Imports) - 87 points

The Loire: Bargain Garden of France - by David Schildknecht
Jean-Francois Merieau 2007 Sauvignon 'L'Arpent' (Jon-David Headrick) 28cs on order - 88 points
Michel Delhommeau 2007 Muscadet 'St. Vincent' (Jon-David Headrick) 28cs on order - 88 points






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