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Catena Alta Chardonnay 2013

Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina
  • W&S91
  • D91
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • WE90
14% ABV
  • JS94
  • RP93
  • JS94
  • WW93
  • RP91
  • RP93
  • WE91
  • RP92
  • D91
  • RP93
  • WE91
  • WE90
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • RP93
  • RP92
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • WS92
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • RP93
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Catena Alta Chardonnay shows an intense green-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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Pulled from vineyards at the foot of the Andes in the Uco Valley, this captures the fresh mountain influence as well as the cold 2013 vintage in its spicy and refreshing flavors, the wine rich in crunchy, juicy cherry and blackberry notes. Open now for meat lasagna, or save it for a couple of years, as the tannins still need a little bit of time to calm.
D 91
Decanter
From some of the highest white wine vineyards in the Uco Valley, this is skillfully barrel fermented with natural yeasts. Peachy and stony with a crisp finish.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
An elegant, rich and fruity white, with plenty of creamy notes to the apple pastry, ripe pear and marzipan flavors. The juicy finish is loaded with buttery and spicy elements.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Catena 2013 Chardonnay mixes grapes form Agrelo (15%) and the rest from different zones in the Uco Valley (Tupungato and San Carlos, Eugenio Bustos and Altamira). 50% of the wine fermented in used oak barriques, 10% in new 500-liter French oak barrels and the rest in stainless steel. Part of the barrels go through malolactic fermentation, but not all. 2013 feels ripe despite the character of the vintage, and although the oak is a lot less noticeable than in previous vintages it provides creaminess that makes it approachable and easy. The palate is soft and the acidity is quite integrated with the fruit. An approachable, nice Chardonnay. 360,000 bottles produced.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
A full blast of oak and related aromas open this creamy, ripe wine. Plump on the palate but with just enough acidity to preserve balance, this rich, friendly wine features walnut, papaya and citrus flavors that finish woody, smooth and long.
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Catena

Catena

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Catena, Mendoza, 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.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

WBW30130513_2013 Item# 141237