Luca’s 2017 Beso de Dante (meaning Dante’s Kiss), which emanates from high altitude vineyards, easily outperforms many classified Bordeaux and California Meritage offerings. The 2017 Luca Beso de Dante (93 Points – Wine Enthusiast) offers a brilliant deep purple robe, entrancing aromatics, and a mouthful of complex flavors. Blackberry, cassis, mint, and spicy wood tones permeate the nose and palate. The wine’s deep and dense berry, clove, and dark chocolate flavors steep into firm tannins, the latter providing structure and an explosive crescendo. This is one kiss you won’t want to miss. Although quite enjoyable now, additional time in bottle will only increase the drinking pleasure of this top-notch Cabernet/Malbec blend (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc). For optimal drinking pleasure we suggest decanting the racy 2017 “Dante’s Kiss” for 30 minutes before serving at cool room temperature (no more than 64° F). Anticipated maturity: 2021-2028. Enjoy!
What should one serve with the 2017 Luca Beso de Dante? In Argentina, one has no doubt as to the answer and the proper accompaniment to the suave, flavor-filled 2017 Luca Beso de Dante. Beef, beef, and more beef would be the resounding response to what would be perceived as a rhetorical question. Beef would indeed be a fine choice, but not just any cut of beef. Our preferences lean to pairing Luca with the best Prime Rib au jus, Grilled Filet Mignon with Portabella Mushrooms, or Whole Beef Tenderloin encrusted with black pepper and herbs. Add au gratin potatoes and grilled carrots and Brussels sprouts and a match for beef lovers is made in heaven. Grilled Stuffed Veal Chops served with roasted Red Bliss potatoes and caramelized Brussels sprouts with pancetta constitute another favorite pairing with Luca’s 2017 Beso de Dante. Rack of Lamb and savory pork roasts make fine accompaniments, too. For those who eschew meat, all is not lost. Eggplant Rollatini offers another very tasty accompaniment. A heart-healthy vegetarian black bean and rice dish served with ripe avocado offers good companionship, too, and is simple to prepare. And although Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon shine brightest at meals, the 2017 Beso de Dante brings its loving kiss and warm welcome when only a clean glass awaits, so Buen Provecho!
Laura Catena grew up in the most renowned wine-making family of Mendoza, Argentina. Laura’s father Dr. Nicolás Catena was one of the first winery owners in Mendoza to realize Argentina’s enormous viticultural potential and to concentrate on producing quality rather than quantity in the vineyard and wine cellar. Many called him “loco,” yet four decades later the wine drinking world reveres Dr. Catena and applauds his enormous research and painstaking efforts to bring quality Argentine wines to the world market. In fact, Catena was named The World’s Most Admired Wine Brand of 2020 by Drinks International magazine. Clearly, there would be little clamor today for fine Malbec or any other premium Argentine wine without Dr. Catena’s work. Fortunately, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Laura Catena began her own wine venture, Luca, and has taken Argentine wine to an even higher level.
Although Laura now splits her time between Mendoza and San Francisco where she practices medicine as an Emergency Medicine Specialist, serves as a university professor, and raises three children, her heart still rests in Argentina and winemaking of the highest quality. In Luca, named for Laura’s first-born son, Laura has realized her dream of creating small quantities of impeccably-made Argentine wines from individual vineyards and terroirs. Made in true artisan fashion, each limited production of Luca wine hails from extraordinary fruit from very low-yield, high elevation, family-owned vineyards. Together with Luca’s celebrated winemaker, Estela Perinetti, Laura creates Beso de Dante, an exquisite blend of Malbec and Cabernet that rivals the best that Bordeaux has to offer; Nico, a tiny production of Malbec from very old vines; G Lot, a world-class Chardonnay that rivals the finest Meursault from Burgundy, as well as exceptional individual varietal offerings of Pinot Noir, Malbec, and Syrah.
Luca wines set themselves above their rivals by offering power, complexity and finesse all in one package. By the Catena family’s own admission “Laura is continually inspired by the synthesis of cultures in her own family, and this international inspiration infuses the style and quality of her wines.” Moreover, each Luca wine is the ultimate expression of its terroir and reflects the importance of expert vineyard management, skilled winemaking, and the quest for quality at any cost.
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