Catena Chardonnay 2012
Chardonnay from Argentina, South America
The Catena Chardonnay combines the unique expressions of three high-altitude vineyard sites. The wine shows an intense straw yellow color with greenish highlights. The extraordinary combination of vineyards offers concentrated aromas of ripe citrus and honeyed tropical fruits with notes of peaches, white flowers, and spicy vanilla. On the palate, citrus and stone fruit flavors abound followed by flavors of pear and ripe melon with vanilla, sweet spice, and toast. The finish is fresh and crisp leaving traces of minerality on the palate that entice one to another sip.
This wine would be a fantastic companion a variety of poultry dishes, dishes finished with a Nantua sauce, or to a rich seafood dish like shrimp and herb risotto.
The Wine Advocate - "So let’s take a look at the 2012 Catena Chardonnay, which is a blend of different terroirs from Mendoza, Villa Bastias, Agrelo and Gualtallary, fermented with indigenous yeasts with 13.5% alcohol and a mindboggling acidity and freshness (Acidity (grams/liter): 6.20, pH: 3.22). Even if today the name Catena is closely linked to Malbec, they really started out producing Chardonnay. They launched a Chardonnay from Argentina at $20, the first expensive Chardonnay from the country. For this 2012, the vines used range from 1,300 to 1,480 meters altitude, mostly from the Uco Valley. Only 20% of the wine is aged in new wood, 50% of the wine is aged in used wood and the rest in inox. From the half aged in oak, only 20% of the barrels are new. 60% of the wine is made without malolactic. The old barrels are not filled and the wine develops a thin veil of yeast (like in Jura and Sherry). This has a Burgundian texture with great freshness. The calcareous soil is felt, and the wine is pungent, intense and impressively vibrant for a vintage like 2012. "
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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