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Catena Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Argentina
  • RP90
13.8% ABV
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • RP90
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • RP90
  • RP90
  • WS88
  • WE90
  • RP90
  • W&S90
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • W&S90
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13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Catena Chardonnay 2011 combines the unique expressions of three high-altitude vineyard sites. The wine shows an intense greenish color with yellow notes. The extraordinary combination of vineyards offers honeyed tropical fruit flavors with concentrated aromas and flavors of ripe fruits, including notes of peaches, pears and figs, hints of white flowers and notes of vanilla. It is a clean, fresh wine with a strong minerality and crisp acidity.

Pair with salmon, seafood, chicken, or pork chops.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There are notable changes in the approach of the 2011 Catena Chardonnay compared to previous vintages: 40% malolactic instead of 100%, a move to Mercurey barrels instead of Francois Freres, a reduction from 50% new oak to 20%. This vintage was also harvested 20 days earlier. It is a blend of three vineyards that are divided into lots at harvest. It is whole cluster pressed and aged for ten months in French oak. It demonstrates great clarity on the nose with scents of dried honey, linden, crushed stone and dried white flowers. The palate is well-balanced with crisp acidity and is a taut, focused Chardonnay with lively notes of tangerine and quince towards the finish. This is well-crafted and complex for its price point.
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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.

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.

RPT318396_2011 Item# 118836