Wine Advocate 95 points - The 2009 Malbec Argentino is a blend of the vineyards of Adrianna and Nicasia and is 20% whole cluster and 80% whole berry fruit. The former is co-fermented with Viognier and the latter co-fermented with Cabernet Franc. It is aged in French oak barrels, of which 60% are new. It has a more opulent bouquet than the individual blends, with dark cherries, iodine, minerals and blueberry that are all beautifully defined. The palate has a dense, weighty entry with layers of ripe blackberry and boysenberry fruit laced with crushed stone and a touch of graphite. The finish is supremely well-defined and focused, with immense length on the finish. Drink 2013-2030. (Oct 2012)
Wine Spectator 92 points - This dark red jumps from the glass, showing jammy black and blue fruits mixed with chewy layers of mesquite, woodsy spice and black licorice. Rich finish. Drink now through 2018.—N.W. (Sep 11 2013)
Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino is made from a meticulous vine selection in the best lots of the Catena family’s estate vineyards. These Zapata vines are carefully hand tended and produce extremely low yields. The grapes are micro-fermented in new French oak barriques and the wine is then aged for 24 months in new French oak. This wine is made in very limited quantities.
|Over the past 20 years, Nicolás and Laura Catena and their vineyard management team have worked tirelessly in the discovery, identification and development of key microclimates in the high altitude wine country of Mendoza, Argentina. Nicolás Catena has planted an almost countless number of varietals and clones throughout his mountain vineyard sites.
This quest for quality lead Nicolás and Laura Catena to a crucial discovery regarding the influence of altitude on grape cultivation in Mendoza. Observing the important differences in soil types, average temperatures and thermal amplitudes that exist at varying altitudes, he found that vineyard sites which are just a few kilometers apart can have vast differences in altitude and possess remarkably different microclimates.
Over the years, the in depth study of these different microclimates led Nicolás to determine that the same varietal, and even the same clone, presented distinct aromatic and flavor profiles when cultivated in each of these unique microclimates. Implementing the age old art of assemblage, he found that by blending these different lots of the same varietal, he could achieve a more complex wine.