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Catena Alta Malbec 2008

Malbec from Argentina
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Catena Alta Malbec 2008 shows a saturated dark violet color. The nose offers freshly ground, ripe berry fruits with layers of wild flowers, mocha and tobacco. The mouthfeel is full with excellent weight and concentration with a soft and silky texture. The mid palate offers rich cassis and black currant fruit flavors interwoven with hints of chocolate, vanilla and black pepper. It finishes with a wonderful minerality, finely grained tannins and lively acidity.

Blend: 100% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
A generous and appealing malbec, this wine has the smooth sweetness of chocolate and a great depth of flavor. It's corseted by the acidity, which provides a clear delineation for this grand wine for lamb.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Focused yet fleshy, offering notes of raspberry and blackberry preserves that are framed by toasty oak, spice and light mint notes, as the fruit lingers on the juicy finish. The better of two bottles tasted. Drink now. 4,100 cases imported.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Concentrated black fruit aromas are subtle and don't push real hard. It's jammy, deep and soft in the mouth, with sweet tannins and even sweeter core berry flavors and oak. Finishes smooth, with barrel influence and warmth. Very nice as always, but not as elevated and exact as prior vintages.
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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 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.

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Argentina

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With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.

Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all 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 is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. 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.

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originated in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it continued to flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. A French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. But it did not gain its current reputation as the country's national grape until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of blackberry, plum and licorice, appropriately backed by aromas of freshly turned earth and dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, Malbec will be intensely ripe, and full of fruit and spice. From its homeland in Cahors, its rusticity shines; dusty notes and a beguiling bouquet of violets balance rich, black fruit.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

GZT4019417_2008 Item# 110698