Tasting the Wines of Argentina’s La Posta, 2016 Vintage
La Posta is an interesting concept from Argentina’s Laura Catena, a master brand designed to promote “grower wines” — wines which are made by the growers of the grapes. The focus here is, of course, heavily on malbec. Some details:
Fourth generation vintner Laura Catena is championing Grower Malbec with her passion project, La Posta.
Grower Malbec is an underappreciated concept in Argentine winemaking, but its central to the cultural fabric of grape growing in Mendoza. The brand name, La Posta, is a nod to local taverns where grape growers (often of Italian heritage) congregate locally to discuss their days’ work in the soil and vines. In the decades that Laura spent revolutionizing viticulture and winemaking in Mendoza, these watering holes, also known locally as “Postas,” were central to her networking of the matrix of growers across the Mendozan terroir.
Laura found that beyond the luster of corporate estates is a fabric of underappreciated small growers who are working with old vines on generational plots of land. These growers do business with handshake agreements, and their grapes are often bought by big brands. Unlike Grower Champagne, the concept of accessing this same quality juice outside the price tag of name brands is in its infancy in Argentina. With La Posta, Laura sought to bring these small growers to light, celebrating their individual stories, passions, and terroirs within respective single-grower, single-vineyard wines.
Furthermore, Laura endeavored to produce single-grower or single-vineyard wines at affordable prices rather then pricing them for collectors. It was Laura’s mission to have people to drink and experience the wines from these family-run vineyards, not cellar them.
These award winning labels are evocative of the Buenos Aires’ 1920’s Art Deco era and contemporary interest in French culture which spilled over into influencing winemaking and planting selections at the time. The 1920’s era also witnessed huge waves of Italian immigration to Argentina, a heritage shared by many of the wine growers today.
Let’s taste the quintet!
2016 La Posta Pizzella Malbec Argentina – 100% malbec. Peppery with notes of dried fruits and a gentle beef jerky note underneath. Plenty of raspberry and black cherry in the finish gives it a fruity pop and a nice balance. B+ / $18
2016 La Posta Paulucci Malbec Argentina – 100% malbec. A much smokier, boldly meaty wine, with notes of cherry wood, roasted peppers, and lots of dried berry notes. Tons of wood influence, with a well-charred finish. B+ / $18
2016 La Posta Fazzio Malbec Argentina – Another 100% malbec. Heavy with pepper and spice, tanned leather, and waves of blackcurrant and cherry notes. Ample fruit keeps the more savory elements at arm’s length, providing a compelling balance. A- / $18
2016 La Posta Armando Bonarda Argentina – 100% bonarda, a less common, somewhat sweeter, but relatively harmless varietal with notes of rhubarb and blackberry, and with quite a bit of tannin on the back end. Enjoyable but relatively plain in comparison to some of the more punchy malbecs. B / $15
2016 La Posta Tinto Red Blend Argentina – The big blend in the bunch, sourced from all over: 60% malbec, 20% bonarda, 20% syrah. Intensely meaty on the nose, with notes of black olives and campfire smoke. The palate rolls with a young, green character, which works well with the beefy barnyard character that dominates the palate and a grind of black pepper on the finish. B / $15