Specialty Club – September 2008

2005 Bodega Catena Zapata Alta Malbec
In the last year, no region in the shop has shown more progress than Latin America, particularly Argentina, in the quality of the wines and diversity of selection. So we are proud to put in this club the second consecutive vintage of the flagship wine of the top-rated Argentinean winemaker, Nicolás Catena. Bodega Catena Zapata was founded by Italian immigrant Nicola Catena in 1898, and he was the first one to plant Malbec in the Mendoza region and to believe Malbec could produce ageable wines. In 1994, his grandson Nicolás started making Catena Alta from his very best vineyard sites, five small, high-altitude lots. The 2005 vintage is even better than last year, characteristically dark in color, full and supple, with wonderful dark berry fruits. While drinking beautifully now, particularly if decanted and served with steak, this powerhouse will continue to age for another decade, at least. We do have a little bit more available at $60. (You can sample many more of the Catena wines when we host Louise Bostwick of Billington imports at our September 18 tasting.)

2005 Domaine Robert-Denogent Les Reisses
Just when we thought all of the fabulous 2005 white Burgundies were sold out, we find another star wine still available. We were unable to squeeze this wine into the Spec Club earlier in the year, and we were shocked to discover there were still 28 bottles available at the distributor. Jean-Jacques Robert’s winery is in Puiilly-Fuisse in the Maconais, far from the pricy vineyards of the Cote d’Or. This gorgeous, complex wine is from his top vineyard, and is deep with minerals, hazelnuts, pears, baking spice and light vanilla. It has a great balance between fruit, minerality and oak, and would be a perfect partner for roasted vegetables, chicken, and shrimp, particularly if prepared in a spicy sauce. It costs $41 and we do have a handful of bottles left.