Argentine wines shine at Wine 101-Wake Forest

By Dathan Kazsuk

It was an evening of Argentine-style wines in what ended up being a very intimate setting at Wine 101-Wake Forest on Thursday, Sept. 25.

The class of 11 attendees were greeted by both Jay Holland (wine manager at the Wine 101-Raleigh location) and Sara House Doom (new wine manager at Wine 101-Wake Forest). The two told us a little about the wine regions and soils of Argentina before launching into generous pours of some special wines.

First up was the 2013 Catena Chardonnay from the Zapata Family Vineyards. Not being a fan of most oak-barrel Chards, I thought this would be a wine I wouldn’t like … but that was not the case. It still had that “buttery” taste that I steer clear of in Chards, but it was a smooth, crisp wine that ended up something I could handle. And at a discount price of $17.99, it would be a steal for all the Chardonnay fans out there.

Next was the 2013 Zolo Signature Red Blend from the Mendoza area of Argentina. This supple, yet smooth wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Merlot and Malbec. An inexpensive wine at $10.79 – so it’s one of those wines you don’t mind opening after a long day at work.

Wine 101-Wake Forest's wine manager Sara Doom has some fun with the guests.

Wine 101-Wake Forest's wine manager Sara Doom has some fun with the guests.

Following the Zolo was my favorite of the night – the 2011 Luca Malbec Valle de Uco Mendoza. Rated 92-points from The Wine Advocate, this wine left a berry taste on the palate, and lingering notes of espresso on the back end. My friend and I both agreed that this would be an amazing wine to add to some wood chips and add to an upcoming home brew. But take in mind, this wine isn’t cheap. At a regular price of $28.99, and a sale price of $25.99, it’s a wine to open for a special occasion.

Our final wine, in comparison with the Malbec was no slouch. The 2011 Bodega Gratia Cabernet was one I’ve had before, and it didn’t disappoint then, and it didn’t now. This Cabernet had hints of dark cherries and chocolate, and at a discount of $18.89 that evening I had to pick up another bottle for our cellar.

Wine classes at Wine 101 have always been informative, and like I mentioned earlier, always give you generous pours with each wine. Saying it’s a “class” might not be the right name for these tastings, but always well worth the admission to try some worth while wines.