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Catena Malbec 2009

Malbec from Argentina
  • WS91
  • RP91
14% ABV
  • RP92
  • JS91
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • WW90
  • D90
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • WE90
  • TP90
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • D90
  • RP91
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • WE90
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • WS90
  • WS91
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4.1 15 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#58 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

The 2009 Catena Malbec presents a dark, violet color with deep black tones. This microclimate blend of four unique vineyard sites offers intense aromas with a soft generous texture and concentrated flavors. Angelica vineyard lends ripe plum and chocolate flavors with a very soft, supple mouthfeel. Altamira vineyard brings a core of black currant and cassis, with excellent structure and length. La Piramide vineyard offers blackberry fruit with a slight earthy tone and notes of spicy black pepper. Finally, the Adrianna vineyard lends exceptional concentration with explosive floral aromatics. Together they give birth to a complex blend of aromas and flavors - a wine with excellent concentration, balance and freshness.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
A rich red, with ripe layers of linner torte, plum pudding and fig paste flavors backed by notes of mesquite, olive paste and grilled herbs. Grippy tannins add weight to the long, vibrant finish. Drink now through 2013. 75,000 cases imported.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Catena Malbec was aged in 35% new French and American barriques for 14 months. Balsam wood, earthy minerals, spice box, lavender, and black cherry aromas compose the wine’s inviting bouquet. Spicy and savory in the glass, with ample black cherry and black raspberry flavors, this nicely proportioned Malbec is an outstanding value meant for drinking over the next 4-5 years.
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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.

SOU301885_2009 Item# 111623