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Catena Alta Malbec 2010

Malbec from Argentina
  • RP94
  • W&S93
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Catena Alta Malbec shows a deep violet color, with blue reflections. The nose is elegant and complex with ripe red and black berry fruits, notes of violets and lavendar and a touch of leather, spice and vanilla flavors. The palate is full and rich with soft and sweet tannins and a silky, smooth structure. Multiple layers of rich cassis, black currant and blackberries are interwoven with hints of licorice and black pepper. Its lengthy finish is marked by wonderful minerality, finely grained tannins and lively acidity.

Pair with braised duck with apples or grilled beef filet.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Catena Alta Malbec is composed with fruit from Angelica, La Piramide, Nicasia and Adrianna and there was about 30-40% whole-cluster fermentation with a pinch of Viognier and Cabernet Franc. As with many others, the fruit from four different vineyards created different lots from different stages of harvests and different fermentation methods. A pure exercise of blending a selection of available wines from this painstaking working method. It feels riper than the Alta Cabernet, quite dark, with aromas of ripe plums, blackberries and a touch of spices, but with air the nose comes back with a strong violet note. It is medium-bodied, with good acidity, clean and pungent flavors, ending long and supple. Excellent. Drink 2014-2020.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Ripened to a decadent richness, this is focused on sweet black fruit flavor and exotic spicy aromas. It feels huge, with a concentration of black cherry fruit, its syrup-like texture tamed by acidity. Blended from several vineyards in the Uco Valley and Luján de Cuyo, this is finely crafted in an international style.
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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.

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.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates 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.

CNC599923_2010 Item# 125127