Catena Alta Malbec 2009
Malbec from Argentina, South America
Catena Alta Malbec is sourced from small, carefully selected estate-grown lots in four of the Catena family's Andean vineyards: Angélica vineyard, La Pirámide vineyard, Nicasia vineyard, and Adrianna vineyard. The blend of these historic lots, like the marriage of sounds that create a symphony, yields a highly aromatic and elegant wine that speaks for the earth and the vines that have been tended by the Catenas for four generations.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Alta Catena Malbec comes from the Angelica, La Piramide, Nicasia and Adrianna Vineyards and undergoes malolactic fermentation in barrel, then is aged in French oak, 50% new, for 18 months. It offers a gorgeous, pure, floral bouquet with ripe pomegranate and wild strawberry imbued with superb minerality and delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with a tense, almost broody entry. It is a classic Malbec, one you might almost think came from the Old World, underpinned by great structure and a sense of masculinity. Yet it is superbly balanced with plenty of ripe, earthy black fruit laced with tar and tobacco towards the long, rather aristocratic finish. Excellent."
Wine Enthusiast - "This is gorgeous on the bouquet, with earth, flower blossom, licorice and sandalwood aromas. It feels lush and layered, with ripe, happy flavors of sultry black fruit and cassis. Fruity, long and delicious on the finish, this is a very easy Malbec to dig into now and until 2015."
International Wine Cellar - "Good ruby-red. Laid-back aromas of blackberry, musky coffee and licorice, with a violet note emerging with air. Superconcentrated and sweet, but with firm balancing acidity and a mineral pungency giving the wine excellent thrust. Very deep malbec with broad, smooth tannins and serious length. "
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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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