Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard Malbec 2007
Malbec from Argentina, South America
The Catena Zapata Malbec Nicasia Vineyard is one of the three top-tier Malbecs first released by the winery in 2007. The wine exemplifies Nicolas Catena's success and pioneering research with the Malbec grape in Mendoza. The Nicasia Vineyard, named after Nicolas Catena's grandmother, is a small, specially selected number of rows in Lot 1 of the Catena family's Altamira Vineyard. Planted in 1996, the Malbec vines are on their own rootstock and part of a massal population from the Catena family's historic, 80-year-old Angelica vineyard.
Wine Spectator - "This shows how powerful Argentine Malbec can be, with a torrent of blackberry, boysenberry and bittersweet ganache notes. But there's exceptional drive and focus here as well, with a great graphite spine driving through the spice- and floral-infused finish. A stunner for its combination of power and precision, and the best wine yet from this winery. Best from 2011 through 2016."
The Wine Advocate - "The single vineyard Malbecs begin with the 2007 Nicasia Vineyard Malbec. It was barrel-fermented and aged for 18 months in 100% new oak including a racking into a second set of new barrels (the so-called “200% new oak” treatment). A glass-coating opaque purple/black in color, it offers up a splendid nose of toasty new oak, earth notes, exotic spices, black cherry and black raspberry. This is followed by a plush, layered, intensely flavored wine with potential complexity, precision balance, and a seamless finish. Give it 4-6 years of cellaring and drink it through 2027, probably longer, these wines have no track record of longevity."
Wine Enthusiast - "Among Catena's high-end wines from 2007, Nicasia is the top performer. It shows alluring aromas of smoky oak, wild flowers and pure berry fruits. The Palate is a blend of smoothness, grainy tannins and fine acidity, while the flavors of berries, chocolate and cola are layered just right. Still, the pacesetter for high-end Argentine Malbec; drink now through 2015."
International Wine Cellar - "from a vineyard planted at 3,870 feet) Full ruby. Slightly medicinal aromas of licorice pastille, mint, bitter chocolate and espresso. Lush, fat and thick, but the wine's almost confectionery sweetness is leavened by high-altitude verve. Impressively concentrated blackberry and bitter chocolate flavors saturate the entire palate. This already drinkable wine finishes with suave tannins and outstanding persistence."
Wine & Spirits - "Argentino is a blend of Catena’s three principal malbec vineyards: Adrianna, Nicasia and Angélica. In this warm vintage the aromas and flavors recall sweet blackberries; it’s framed by a powerful structure, the tannins as sinewy as the muscles of a long-distance runner. Wait two or three years for this wine to gain in complexity, or drink it now with roast wild boar. "
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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.