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Catena Zapata Nicolas 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Argentina
  • RP98
  • WS93
14.5% ABV
  • RP96
  • WE94
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4.3 4 Ratings
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4.3 4 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Nicolas Catena Zapata 2008 has an intense dark violet color with bluish-black tones. Complex wine; Super-ripe aromas of black cherry, dark chocolate and licorice, enlivened by minerals, violet, pepper and herbs. Then penetrating, sharply delineated and impressively concentrated, with a serious backbone supporting its very fresh currant and mineral flavors; the vibrant, echoing finish suggests that this wine will have even more to say in a couple of years.

78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Nicolas Catena Zapata is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec, and the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc that spent 24 months in 100% new French oak followed by 24 months in bottle prior to release. It delivers an inviting bouquet of wood smoke, pencil lead, espresso, incense, lavender, black currant, and black cherry. This sets the stage for a full-bodied, powerful yet elegant, beautifully proportioned effort with great depth and volume. It conceals plenty of structure and will effortlessly evolve for 6-8 years, drinking well through 2028, if not longer.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Dark and concentrated, with a creamy edge to its jammy cassis, blueberry preserve and black cherry skin notes. There's fine tannins and enough acidity to keep the spice- and tobacco-tinged finish moving along. Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.
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Catena

Catena

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Catena, Argentina
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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 export 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.

Argentina

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Stretching from the Andes to Patagonia, Argentina's unique terroir lends to high quality wines. Formerly associated with inexpensive bulk wine but dramatically shifting focus from quantity to quality, Argentina is the most important wine-producing country in South America. Certainly excellent values abound here still, but increases in vineyard investment, improved winery technology, and a commitment to innovation since the late 20th century have contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains can be used to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Mendoza, a large and famous region responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white. The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

RPT314396_2008 Item# 114688