Catena Alta Malbec 2006
Malbec from Argentina, South America
The 2006 Catena Alta Malbec presents a dark, opaque violet color, almost blackish in hue. The nose offers freshly ground, ripe berry fruits with layers of wild flowers, cinnamon spice, and a touch of citrus. The mouthfeel is full and coating, with exceptional weight and concentration but with a soft, supple texture. The mid palate offers rich cassis and black currant fruit flavors interwoven with hints of chocolate, vanilla and black pepper. The lengthy finish shows wonderful minerality, with finely grained tannins and lively acidity.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Alta Malbec was sourced from small lots in several estate vineyards. It spent 18 months in 70% new French oak. Dark purple-colored, it displays a splendid nose of wild flowers, spice box, incense, black cherry and plum. This leads to an elegant, medium-bodied rendition of Malbec with a velvety texture, superb depth and concentration, succulent flavors with notes of chocolate and black pepper making an appearance, and a pure, silky finish. While it will continue to blossom for several more years, it can be enjoyed now. "
Wine Spectator - "Suave and polished, with a hefty but integrated dose of mocha and spice woven into the dark plum, melted fig and black licorice notes. The long, alluring finish drips with dark fruit. Drink now through 2011. 4,200 cases imported. "
International Wine Cellar - "Good deep ruby-red. Musky black raspberry, dark chocolate and a hint of pepper on the nose. Suave, sweet and energetic, with lovely lift and definition to the creamy dark fruit and chocolate flavors. Ultimately sweeter than the Catena Alta cabernet. Finishes with broad, dusty tannins that arrive late but saturate the front teeth and build."
Wine & Spirits - "Ripe, juicy cherry flavors build around the center of this wine, surrounded by notes of leather and a light touch of violets. It's medium in body, balanced toward sweetness, yet the potent tannins need something meaty to soften them up. Try it with a ribeye."
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Bodega Catena Zapata is one of Argentina's high altitude Malbec pioneers. The Catena family began making wine in Mendoza in 1902. Nicolas Catena, third generation family vintner, was one of the first to see the potential of Mendoza's mountain vineyards for producing high quality Malbec. In 1994, he became the first Argentine to exprot a world-class bottling of Malbec under the Catena label. Nicolas is joined by his daughter, Dr. Laura Catena, in their relentless pursuit of world-class quality from the family's high altitude vineyards. Laura has done extensive work in introducing Malbec and other varietal plant selections, soil and climate analysis, and sustainable practices throughout Mendoza. Head winemaker, Alejandro Vigil, has been at Catena Zapata since 2002 and works with Laura and Nicolas to make wines that express the family's vineyards and palate. View all Catena Wines
About ArgentinaView a map of Argentina wineries (ahr-jen-TEE-nah)
Notable FactsUnlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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