Catena Zapata Nicolas 2003
Bordeaux Red Blends from Argentina
Nicolás Catena Zapata is made from a selection of the best lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec in the Catena Zapata Vineyards. The first Nicolás Catena Zapata was made in 1997, a phenomenal Cabernet Sauvignon vintage in Mendoza. The 1997 Nicolás Catena Zapata was released in 2000 through a series of blind tastings held in the USA and Europe where it was compared blind to Chateau Latour, Haut Brion, Solaia, Caymus and Opus One. The Nicolás Catena Zapata 1997 came in either first or second in every tasting. This wine is only produced in outstanding vintage years.
72% Cabernet Sauvignon; 28% Malbec
The core Cabernet Sauvignon fruit component was sourced from Lot 3 of La Pirámide vineyard. With exceptional homogeneity and balance, these Cabernet Sauvignon grapes offer rich cassis flavors, supple texture and excellent structure. Two additional components of Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced from Lot 2 of the Domingo Vineyard and Lot 5 of the Adrianna Vineyard. These high altitude, cool climate vineyards provide fruit with ripe red currant flavors, strong mineral tones and notes of eucalyptus and black pepper.
The core Malbec fruit component was sourced from Lot 3 of the Adrianna Vineyard, the highest Malbec vineyard in Mendoza. This extremely cold, mountain microclimate produces exceptionally concentrated Malbec grapes with dark fruit flavors, perfumed violet aromas and well structured tannins. A second component is sourced from Lot 1 of the southerly located Altamira vineyard. Another cool area for Malbec, the fruit from this vineyard presents ripe cassis flavors and well balanced, racy acidity.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Deep red with ruby highlights. Malbec-dominated aromas of black fruits, violet, licorice and spices. Thick and rich but not especially sweet, in a slightly medicinal style; very Malbec and less complex and refined than the 2001. Finishes with big, chewy tannins and a touch of dryness. This youthfully tight wine needs patience. According to the winery, 2003 featured a cool, long growing season that was especially strong for Cabernet Sauvignon, but today it's the Malbec that's most apparent. Rating: 91+"
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.
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