Tasting Note                          

88           2002 Catena Malbec 3/19/05 ($16)

Color: Pretty medium cherry garnet with some purple. (3.0) Bouquet: Sweet blackberry and eucalyptus, the later being very typical of S.American reds, with smooth, cedary tannins. (3.5) Body: Smooth, rich and well-balanced; a solid middleweight. (3.0) Flavor: Cedary, dusty tannins mixed with blackberry and cherry fruit. Has a eucalyptus and tobacco component, but in an international style. (2.5) Finish: Parallels the flavor, but the tannins are dryer and more bitter. (2.0)
Overall: A very good, modern style wine with just about everything in the right place, except some bitter tannin in the finish. I also find the terroir to be a little heavy-handed, which peaks through in spite of the modern style. In a way, I wish this wine was more true to form and tried to be a distinctive Argentinean wine, possibly making it more rustic, instead of a modern, winemaker built wine. Of course, this approach would be more risky and would surely not achieve the highly desired 91 point WS score. (14.0)