While I really enjoy single-varietal wines, like a 100% Cabernet or a 100% Malbec, I find that they sometimes lack something or that they can be one-dimensional. The Cabernet might be too tannic and need to some age to soften and the Malbec might lack the underlying structure to withstand cellaring. They don’t benefit from the harmonization that blending can bring to a wine. But today’s specimen has been fashioned by none other than Laura Catena: the Bodega Monteviejo Lindaflor ‘Petite Fleur’ 2009 Red Blend from Mendoza, Argentina.
Laura Catena, of Bodega Catena Zapata in Mendoza, places a great deal of emphasis on the blending component of winemaking. According to Laura, “We constantly work on quality through rigorous blending. A bottle of wine is like an orchestra: the instruments are all wonderful on their own, but together they create a beautiful sound.” She seems to agree in the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. As producers of some of Argentina’s most sought after and most established wines, they must be on to something.
I really enjoy red blends as well. I have enjoyed many Bordeaux’s, historically a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot (the percentages of which vary from wine to wine). So when I came across Bodega Monteviejo, an Argentinian producer owned by the same people who own Chateau Le Gay, Chateau Le Violette and Chateau Montviel in Pomerol, Bordeaux, I figured I had to try one of their Argentinian blends: The Monteviejo Lindaflor ‘Petite Fleur’ 2009 Red Blend from Mendoza.
Appearance: Opaque with a violet tinged rim.
Nose: Plums, jammy black fruit and beautiful Asian spice coming through.
Taste: Full bodied with sweet fruit. Plums, blackberries, violets, tobacco and lead pencil flavors linger in this concentrated wine. It finishes dry with good acidity. It is complex and still somewhat tannic, suggesting it should mellow and improve with some bottle age.
Region: Mendoza, Argentina
Varietal Composition: 50% Malbec, 30% Cabernet, 10% Merlot and 10% Syrah
Value Rating: 4.5 / 5
Value Proposition – Lindaflor Petite Fleur
While Malbec is usually a very small component in Bordeaux wines, it is front and center in this Argentinian gem, representing half of the overall blend. This wine was really delicious and very well made. I think the 30% Cabernet is right on, giving the wine just enough structure to age while all of the other varietals lend their respective aromatics and flavors, creating a balanced and complex wine.
A bottle of 2009 Chateau Le Gay will run you about $140, if you can find it. While that’s a different wine from a more prestigious region, it is obvious that these owners take all of the wines in their portfolio seriously.
I don’t think you could go wrong here even at the full retail price of ~$35, but when you consider that I paid $16.99 for this at WineShopper, it seems like a no-brainer. A quick search on wine-searcher reveals that this wine is available at several retailers from $15.29 to $18.99, so stock up on the Monteviejo Lindaflor ‘Petite Fleur’ 2009 while you can, this is a fantastic bargain from a pedigreed family of wines.
You might also be interested in:
Espelt Garnacha Old Vines Emporda 2010 -This Spanish gem is well worth your $10!
Costco Kirkland Signature Malbec Mendoza 2011 – Is this Malbec from Costco’s impressive Kirkland line good enough to be your new go-to bargain Malbec?
Bodega Monteviejo Lindaflor Petire Fleur 2009 Review – This isn’t the second wine from this prestigious Napa Valley winery but the same juice at under $20!
(and of course I am partial to the name)