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CASARENA

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Agrelo - Mendoza,  Argentina

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The dream of Casarena began with a simple idea… to create wine of uncompromising quality at a fair price, with the ultimate goal of being the greatest vineyard project in Mendoza. It was in early 2007 that the owners were first introduced to the culture of Argentina through the eyes of Marcelo Waldheim and his management team who had strong ties to the U.S. It was love at first sight. Later that year, after searching relentlessly for the right parcel, they broke ground on a fresh new 249 acre vineyard in the much acclaimed region of Agrelo. Under the watchful eye of Eno Rolland (Michelle Rolland’s Argentine team), the map of Casarena began to unfold.

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As 2007 was coming to an end… and with much work underway, the well-connected management team learned of a very special vineyard parcel that was about to hit the open market. The owners acted quickly, and acquired 87 acres of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon of exceptional character on the storied road of Cobos. With the addition of an actual producing vineyard, the priority was now to locate the perfect winery. And in June of 2008, the next piece of the puzzle fell into place. The old Filippo Figari Winery situated on a picturesque tree-lined street in the prime sub-region of Perdriel was completely gutted, renovated, and outfitted with the latest in viniculture technology…. to become the new home of Casarena, complete with 27 acres of superior 15 year old vines surrounding the stately structure. With all the pieces in place, Casarena launched their first bottling of the 2009 vintage to much critical acclaim in 2010. Production was very low by design, and winemaker Gabriela Celeste delivered solid scores right out of the gate. Stephen Tanzer of IWC rated the 2009 Malbec 89 points and wrote, “…better than a first crop from new vines has any right to be.” A couple 90 point scores from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate rounded out the successful vintage of $15 wines… presenting a very attractive QPR(Quality to Price Ratio).

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The varied terroirs with vines planted at differing elevations in only the best regions of Mendoza represent the soul of Casarena. At the helm is Alejandro Sejanovich, of Catena fame, tasked with ensuring that every plant reach its maximum potential. In the coming years, Casarena expects to introduce several single vineyard varietals and blends that capture the essence of their particular region, as well as to pay homage to the grape that put Argentina on the map – Malbec. Casarena is unique in its approach to preserving the old vine population gene pool of Mendozan Malbec … a wine that is ingrained into the very culture of this paradise on earth, complete with a stunning backdrop of the towering Andes Mountains.

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