Reviews Tastings

Considered South America’s Grand Cru, Mendoza’s Adrianna Vineyard

WCM Co-President Shawn Zylberbegs with Pablo Piccolo, Bodega Catena Zapata Export Director

If you were to ask wine enthusiasts from around the world, as well as locals, they would likely recommend the Adrianna Vineyard in Mendoza, owned and planted by the Catena Zapata Winery. This single vineyard was planted in 1992 and is divided into parcels that produce five unique wines, including two Chardonnays and three Malbecs. For WCM’s first tasting of 2024, we visited Miami’s leading Argentinian cuisine destination, Fiorito, where we sampled the latest vintages with Pablo Piccolo, the export director.

Catena Zapata White Stones Chardonnay 2010 – RP 94-This is really backward and ungiving, slowly showing some white flowers,citric notes and echoes of chalk and smoke. The palate is medium bodied,really seamless, with great freshness and pungent acidity ending long and with a mineral feeling. This is superb! 3,600 bottles produced.

Catena Zapata White Stones Chardonnay 2021 – RP 98- The 2021 White Stones Chardonnay is subtler and more elegant, a little closed with moderate ripeness and alcohol (12.5%) and a mineral palate with strongchalky sensations. This is serious and tasty. 7,300 bottles produced.

Catena Zapata White Bones Chardonnay 2021 – RP 98-This wine was harvested at two different points of ripeness and then blended into the final wine, which is subtler than the explosive 2020 I tasted next to itbut with the same palette of aromas—thyme, rosemary, lavender, rockrose, white flowers, citrus, pine needles, incense, curry and spices—and the palate is seamless, mineral and with a chalky texture. It’s brilliant and expresses the variety, vintage and soil perfectly. 6,240 bottles produced.

Catena Zapata Mundus Bacillus Malbec 2020 – RP 97-The wine was still very young with a luxurious, creamy texture and mouthfeel.2020 was an extremely dry year and the grapes were picked two to three weeks earlier. It has a bright, saturated color and a heady nose with ripeberries and a spicy, smoky twist from 19 months in oak vats. It’s medium to full bodied, with a soft texture and velvety tannins, sleek and seamless. 5,700 bottles produced.

Catena Zapata River Malbec 2020 – RP 97- It’s juicy but beautifully textured with a spicy twist of curry that reminded me of some bottlings from El Enemigo in El Cepillo. It seems to open up slowly in the glass—the violet and berry aromas get complicated by some spice (curry?)—and the palate feels more layered. This is a superb expression of the austere wildness of Gualtallary. 5,700 bottles produced.

Catena Zapata Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2020 – RP 98 –The 2020 Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae shows exceptionally well. It’s still young and juicy with some baby fat that should get rendered with somemore time in bottle. It’s a little lighter, and the tannins gave it grip and a chalky limestone sensation. But the wine is very expressive, with purity, clean and precise and not showing any signs of coming from a warmer year like 2020. It finishes with the telltale violets from the great Malbec grape coated by chalky minerality. This plot behaves well in warmer years like this one. 5,400 bottles produced.

Fiorito 5555 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137

A truly epic lineup for any collector who is serious about Malbec and Chardonnay’s longevity.




Reviews Tastings

September Tasting: Echoes of 8,000 Years: An Evening of Armenian Wines

Wine Club Miami President Stephen Gamson

Hosted at South Beaches’ Call Me Gaby, Wine Club Miami tasted HAYK Wines, Armenian wines that featured grapes with a winemaking legacy dating back over 8,000 years. Paired with the restaurant’s exceptional menu featuring Ravioli di Ricotta e Spinaci al Burro e Salvia, Tagliata di Manzo (Sliced Steak) with Arugula and Parmesan along with a Fresh Watermelon Salad.

A Journey to Peace™ HAYKWINE.COM 689-263-2252

Three signature wines and a selection of dessert wines all showcasing the lasting heritage of Armenian wines as truly old world wine with outstanding quality and style.

2019 Single Vineyard Voskehat Reserve White This single grape white wine is sourced from the Arpa Valley of Armenia’s premier wine growing region: Vayots Dzor. It has pronounced aromas of white flower, ripe lemon cream, apricots and hints of tropical fruit such as mango and pineapple. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and is marked by acidity that seems to expand with each second like Chenin Blanc from South Africa. It has an extensive, refreshing finish that recalibrates the wine to more minerality than fruit.


2018 Arpa Valley Areni Noir is ruby in color with a magenta rim. It has an enticing nose of cassis,blackcurrant, vanilla, sage and Tobacco Oak. IMG_0915 Upon entry, this wine builds from wild flowers and bramble to a bright pop of raspberry and plums on the mid-palate. A juicy finish with silky tannins and a medium length, it will provide drinking pleasure through 2042 with proper cellaring.

Open Container Rose features high acidity, floral aromas and minerals on a long and pleasant finish. An uncommon wine that features elements of traditional French rose with subtle hints of lime and grapefuit and honey to round out a long finish.

Call Me Gaby 22 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL (305)-531-4800




Farewell to our brother, Rafael


The time with us was short and sweet

We will mention your name as we fall from our seat

Off to the Rockies, Rafa will be toasted with every bottle.

With your contributions, our knowledge and palates have evolved

Wine Club Miami won’t be the same when you’re not involved

Off to the mountains and greener pasture 
But the door is always ope

for our Zen Master


Pierre Peters Cuvee Reserve Grand Cru The wine is clear or pale with hints of green typical to the Chardonnay. The mousse is fine and regular with a pretty ribbon of strong bubbles. The first nose is both flowery and fruity, then comes notes of fresh nuts and fresh bread. In the finish there is citrus which brings a beautiful impression of smoothness and freshness. Wine description provided by Fragrant, with floral and mineral accents, this vibrant blanc de blancs shows tropical hints of passion fruit and guava layered with salted almond and honey notes. Finely knit, featuring a lasting, delicate finish. Wine Spectator

2006 Piper-Heidsieck “Cuvée Rare” Brut Champagne The 2006 Brut Cuvée Rare is a rich, gourmand rendition of this prestige bottling, unfurling in the glass with a complex bouquet that mingles aromas of yellow orchard fruit, pears and fresh pineapple with nuances of buttered toast, iodine and smoke. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and textural, while remaining fresh and surprisingly tight-knit at the core, concluding with a long and saline finish. There’s sufficient structural tension here to promise more than a decade’s graceful evolution, and although this is nicely balanced, it’s a generous, sun kissed rendition of the Cuvée Rare that reflects the warm vintage. (WK) Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

2015 Mersault Premier Cru “Genevrieres” Hospices de Beaune Nestled at the southern end of Meursault, the “Genevrières” plot gets its name from “juniper”, a spiky shrub inhabiting the parcel. Classified as a Premier Cru, it is known for its rocky soils producing deep, full-bodied and mineral white wines. Its exposure to the morning sunlight, allow the grapes to become plump and aroma-concentrated. Every year, the Hospices de Beaune organize an auction for their world renowned wines with all the proceeds going to charity. Our Meursault Premier Cru “Genevrières” is one of them.

1998 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) “Cuvée Centenaire” Châteauneuf-du-Pape Dark, brooding aromas of fig compote and a spiced Port reduction unfurl from the glass, leading to a rich, velvety palate that shows notes of plum sauce, braised chestnut, macerated boysenberry, bittersweet chocolate ganache and dark rum-soaked prune. There’s powerful structure, but the layers of exotic fruit just absorb it all. A very impressive showing. Wine Spectator

2003 M. Chapoutier “Le Meal” Ermitage Rouge The best bottle I’ve had, the still inky-purple 2003 Ermitage le Meal was firing on all cylinders on this occasion and was certainly a match for the 2009 and 2010. Tasting like a dry vintage port, yet with no sensation of heat or alcohol, it offers an insane bouquet of cassis, cracked pepper, violets, and mint that’sliterally overflowing the glass. Full-bodied, uber concentrated, voluptuous and still fresh and pure, it’s a heavenly example of this killer terroir that will continue to knock your socks off for another 2-3 decades. Drink through 2045. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Fiorito, 5555 NE 2nd Ave, Miami FL




Reviews Tastings

New Zealand Wines, Blind Tasting

2013 Giesen Single Vineyard Selection “The Fuder – Clayvin” Chardonnay Marlborough“Wow- the brand new 2013 The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay sure adds to the growing list of absolute knock-out Chardonnay’s of true global significance emerging these days from New Zealand. The highly revered Clayvin vineyard, from which this comes, does not fail to live up to its reputation, yielding a profoundly intense and complex wine redolent of ripe peaches, acacia honey, cashews and crushed chalk with marzipan and brioche nuances. Medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with savory and mineral flavors with a satiny texture and lively acid backbone, finishing with lingering honey-nut notes.” (Taken from wine review 95+ points Robert Parker Wine Advocate)

2013 Craggy Range “Sophia” Bordeaux Blend Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2013 Sophia Proprietary Red is intensely scented of crushed blackberries and blackcurrants with hints of cloves, cedar and violets plus a touch of pencil shavings. Medium-bodied and laden with muscular fruit, it has a solid backbone of grainy tannins and tons of vivacity in the long, multi-layered finish” (Taken from wine review 93 points Robert Parker Wine         Advocate)

2013 Rippon “Tinkers Field” Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otag0 “Medium to deep ruby-purple in color, the 2013 Tinker’s Field Pinot Noir delivers fragrant black cherries, violets and Ceylon tea notes with underlying garrigue, lavender and fallen twigs hints. Medium-bodied, the tightly knit palate gives restrained, earthy flavors at this youthful stage with a firm level of grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and multi-layered” (Taken from wine review 94 points Robert Parker Wine Advocate).                                                                                           

                      2013 Trinity Hill”Homage” Syrah Hawke’s Bay “This full-bodied, richly tannic wine delivers. It starts off with savory notes of cracked pepper, black olives, violets and cedar, then eases into concentrated flavors of blueberries and roasted meat before ending with a flourish of firm, dusty tannins. Give it a few years to soften. Drink 2020–2030″. (Taken from wine review 95 points Wine Enthusiast)



2015 Year in Retrospective

We are coming to the end of our ninth year together, and beginning our tenth. Traditionally, this is the start our “Tin” anniversary, but I prefer the more modern symbol of our tenth year together, “Diamond”. 2015 was a year of getting back to fundamentals.

We started our year with the introduction of a series of lectures led by Brian Connors, Wine Professor from Johnston & Wales. Brian taught us the same professional tasting techniques used by master sommeliers. We quickly formed a great appreciation for the difficulty associated with trying to blindly determine region, varietal and vintage.

However, with each successive tasting this year, our group as a whole, was able to detect the nuances associated with different regions and varietals. Personally, I find myself going through the sight, smell, and taste routine as I drink all wines now.


A few highlights of the year were:

  • A vertical tasting of arguably the top Malbec producer in the world, Achaval-Ferrer
  • The 1991 Dominus Estate (courtesy of Arnie) Blind Tasting
  • Wines of Italy sponsored by Sarah Brownell of Cru Artisan Wines featuring Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino
  • France vs USA (Pinot Noir) Blind Tasting
  • Gourmet Chef’s Dinner paired with lesser known regional wines (Chef Chris Caplan of Cantinetta Vintners)
  • Napa, California vs Wala Wala, Washington (Cabernet and Meritage) + 10 year vintage variance Blind Tasting
  • 2000 Bordeaux
  • Champagne and rare wine tasting from a private collector’s cellar
  • Youth vs Age in Barolo Blind Tasting


Beyond the educational focus in 2015, I also believe that our club has found a good balance in the social aspect as well. Attendance this year was one of the highest I can remember, and on the occasion that a member could not attend, open spaces were quickly filled by past members and friends. The commitment and contributions of our members has and will always be the backbone to the success and longevity of our group.

It has been my pleasure serving as President for the past 12 months, and I wish David Yaris much success as our new President. l look forward to celebrating our diamond anniversary year with more great wines, cherished friends and a weekend away to commemorate this milestone.

–Jeff Tenen, President, Wine Club Miami