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Catena Malbec 2011

Malbec from Argentina
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • D90
13.5% ABV
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • WW90
  • D90
  • RP91
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  • RP91
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • WE90
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • WS90
  • WS91
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3.5 13 Ratings
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3.5 13 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Catena Malbec presents a deep violet color with purple reflections. This microclimate blend of four unique vineyards offers intense aroma, soft texture and concentrated flavor. Deep aromas of ripe red and dark fruits are joined by delicate violet and lavendar notes, with traces of vanilla and mocha. A rich, concentrated mouthfeel is highlighted by flavors of blueberries and blackberries with a touch of leather and cinnamon. The wine has well-integrated tannins, bright acidity and a flinty minerality that provies exceptional length to the finish.

Pair with roast turkey, grilled steak, salmon and pasta with red sauce.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 91
Wine Spectator
A dark and jammy red, with enough acidity to propel the roasted plum and wild berry compote notes. Layers of smoke, toasted spice and espresso emerge on the rich finish.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Catena Malbec is produced with fruit grown in Lunlunta, Agrelo and Gualtallary fermented together with a little bit of Viognier from high altitude, which according to winemaker Alejandro Vigil had an amazing eight grams of acidity which contributed a lot of freshness to the blend. 30% of bunches fermented without destemming and as is common in the top Catena wines, these grapes from four different regions were harvested at three different points in time in search of diversity. This is very dark cherry-colored and has strong aromas of ripe plums, peach and apricot with some notes of orange rind. Medium-bodied with velvety, silky tannins, it is a good representation of Malbec in Mendoza. It is approachable now, but it should be even better in one year.
D 90
Decanter
An assemblage of three different sites within Mendoza, each bringing varying but vital components to the finished wine. Shows power and guts but doesn’t go over the top, with an abundance of sweet, opulent damson and rich blackberry fruit augmented by the oak, retains balance and persistence.
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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.

CNC422925_2011 Item# 125048