Catena Chardonnay 2011
Chardonnay from Argentina, South America
The Catena Chardonnay 2011 combines the unique expressions of three high-altitude vineyard sites. The wine shows an intense greenish color with yellow notes. The extraordinary combination of vineyards offers honeyed tropical fruit flavors with concentrated aromas and flavors of ripe fruits, including notes of peaches, pears and figs, hints of white flowers and notes of vanilla. It is a clean, fresh wine with a strong minerality and crisp acidity.
Pair with salmon, seafood, chicken, or pork chops.
The Wine Advocate - "There are notable changes in the approach of the 2011 Catena Chardonnay compared to previous vintages: 40% malolactic instead of 100%, a move to Mercurey barrels instead of Francois Freres, a reduction from 50% new oak to 20%. This vintage was also harvested 20 days earlier. It is a blend of three vineyards that are divided into lots at harvest. It is whole cluster pressed and aged for ten months in French oak. It demonstrates great clarity on the nose with scents of dried honey, linden, crushed stone and dried white flowers. The palate is well-balanced with crisp acidity and is a taut, focused Chardonnay with lively notes of tangerine and quince towards the finish. This is well-crafted and complex for its price point."
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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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