Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
Wine.com - Buy wines, wine clubs, gift baskets and more
My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Catena Alta Malbec 1999
Catena Alta Malbec 1999
(search item no. 43673)
collectible wine

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $44.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The grapes for Catena Alta Malbec come from a select block of Catena's more than 60 year old Angélica vineyard. Named after Nicolás Catena's mother, the Angélica vineyard is Catena's premier Malbec vineyard. The soil and climate of the Angélica vineyard are ideal for growing Malbec. Clay soils with a rocky sub-soil allow for excellent drainage, and the continental climate of warm days followed by cool nights allows for even ripening and a prolonged hang-time.

The vines destined for Catena Alta Malbec undergo a detailed thinning process aimed at leaving only select, isolated clusters. Harvest generally occurs in the later half of March, and the decision to pick is based not on numbers, but on tasting for fruit maturity. The grapes are harvested by hand into small (800kg) containers. After destemming, the fruit undergoes a cold maceration of four days, out of a total of 28 days. Fermentation takes place between 30 and 32 degrees centigrade with a light pumping over to saturate only the caps. The new wine is then aged for 13 months in 100% new French oak from Taransaud.

The 1999 Catena Malbec has a dark violet/purple color with black notes. It has a ripe nose of blackberry fruit with hints of vanilla from oak aging. This full-bodied wine enters softly into the mouth and finishes with sweet, velvety tannins. Catena Alta Malbec will only be made in exceptional vintage years. No Catena Alta Malbec was made in 1998.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Catena:

About Catena:

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.