The Catena wines are a special assemblage of High Mountain Estate Vineyards made by fourth generation vintner, Laura Catena and chief winemaker, Alejandro Vigil. Although we have found that most of the Catena wines are consumed shortly after release, we are pleased to see that they age beautifully for ten to twenty years. Through decades of study and exploration within Mendoza's high altitude mountain terroirs, the Catena family has identified special locations for its Estate vineyards. From the marriage of these historic vineyards emerges a wine of unique character that has natural balance, concentration and a distinct varietal identity.
In 1898, Nicola Catena left his homeland of Italy, and sailed for the land of plenty and opportunity: Argentina. It wasn't long before Nicola planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza in 1902. Although traditionally used as a blending grape in Bordeaux, Nicola believed in the potential of Malbec as a single varietal wine, and suspected that it might uncover its hidden splendour in the cooler climes of the Andes. Flash forward a few decades, to where Nicola's grandson, Nicolas Catena Zapata, has taken over the management of the business. He sold off the bulk producing parts of the company, focusing instead on producing premium Mlabec and Cabernet. To that end, he began searching for the best sites in Mendoza to plant. In 1992, he settled on Gualtallary Alto - the highest and moste Western part of Tupungato. Today, the wines of Bodega Catena Zapata are sourced from six historic estate vineyards: Angélica, La Pirámide, Nicasia, Domingo, Adrianna and Angélica Sur.
STEPHEN TANZER - VINOUS
Sexy scents of red and black fruits, coffee and herbs. Dense, juicy and fine-grained, conveying terrific energy to its flavors of currant, chocolate and mocha. This is less thick than some of the new Malbec releases from Catena but it's still a bit youthfully imploded and in need of more time in bottle. But it has the dusty tannins and fresh supporting acidity to reward aging. In the early going, its penetrating character reminds me a bit of Cabernet. (60% from Nicasia Vineyard in Paraje Altamira and 40% from Angelica Vineyard in Lunlunta; Vigil describes this wine as "an old-vine blend--a mix of new and old _terroirs")