Catena Alta Chardonnay 2012
Chardonnay from Argentina, South America
The Catena Alta Chardonnay shows an intense yellow color with golden highlights. The nose offers ripe white fruit aromas such as pears and peaches that are interwoven with delicate citrus and floral notes, such as Jasmine. The palate shows rich and concentrated ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of minerality. The wine finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2010 Alta Catena Chardonnay includes just a touch of botrytis that Alejandro Vigil believes adds a little complexity. That is evident on the bouquet, which offers wild honey, jasmine, nectarine and crushed stone aromas that are well-defined. The palate has good weight on the entry, with subtle notes of orange zest, dried apricot, quince and shaved ginger. It builds in the mouth, delivering a very focused, intense finish that you could say, sits comfortably between Old World and New."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright medium yellow. Subtle stone fruits and brown spices along with a carnal, truffley nuance on the perfumed, very ripe nose. Juicy, suave and fresh in the mouth, showing a more unctuous texture than the regular 2011 chardonnay but with plenty of framing energy. The peach and ginger flavors display excellent depth. Finishes dry and stony, with insistent minerality and a dusty talc-like texture."
Wine Enthusiast - "Among Argentinean Chardonnays, Catena’s Alta is among the very best. This vintage supplies toasty apple, pear and banana aromas in front of a fresh, full-bodied palate that’s clean, pure and Burgundian in character. Flavors of baked apple, oak and spice lead to a long finish."
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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 & 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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