"If there is a more significant Catena connection, other than of course the various family members, it would have to be California winemaker Paul Hobbs, who was around as a consultant for those formative years when Catena first burst onto the international scene. One might even say that back then Hobbs was more famous for his work in the Southern Hemisphere, though he has certainly made a name for himself in the north coast of California these days as well. His wines used to be marketed under another name and El Felino was the title of the Malbec version. Now the whole line is simply called El Felino under the broader heading of Vina Cobos. This is one of those perfect storms these days, with an enormously talented American winemaker, now working on his own, in a clean facility with grapes grown in Mendoza's near-ideal climate. Over the years there have been changes in marketing and production venue, but now it seems this entity has its act together and is on a roll. Last year's efforts got big accolades from Wine Advocate, and here were are again for the second year in a row with an Advocate 91 (last year's was called Cocodrilo). How many American Cabernets sport that kind of review for this kind of price? The bottom line is that if you are a Cabernet drinker and like a good deal (who doesn't), here's a whale of a choice. As the Wine Advocate states, ""It's hard to think of a better value in Cabernet Sauvignon."" Lots of fresh, creamy, spicy blackcurrant, smooth texture, polish and personality for not a lot of dollares."
- • Year: 2008