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Catena Malbec 2013

Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • WE90
  • TP90
13.5% ABV
  • JS92
  • RP91
  • WW90
  • D90
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • D90
  • RP91
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • W&S91
  • WS90
  • WE90
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • WS90
  • WS91
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3.9 56 Ratings
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3.9 56 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Catena Malbec presents a deep violet color. This microclimate blend of four unique vineyards offers intense aromas, a soft texture, and concentrated flavor. Deep aromas of ripe red and dark fruits are joined by delicate violet and lavender notes, with traces of vanilla and mocha. A rich, concentrated mouthfeel is highlighted by flavors of blueberries and blackberries with a touch of sweet spice, and leather. The wine finishes with bright acidity, well-integrated and silky tannins, and a flinty minerality that lingers on the palate. Made with 100% Malbec.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
As I saw with the Cabernet, the 2013 Catena Malbec also feels fresher than the 2012. It is produced with fruit from Valle de Uco and some 20% from the Luján de Cuyo zone that fermented in a mixture of cement and stainless steel, and partly matured in barrels for some 10 months. The nose is full of violets and black cherries, and is quite perfumed. The palate has lively acidity that makes it extremely fresh, long, pleasant and easy to dink, and it cleanses your palate with the mineral-driven finish. A textbook Malbec to buy by the case. Drink or keep. This has to be one of the best vintages of this popular Malbec. The production figures are mind-boggling, as there are over one million bottles of this wine, so it should be quite easy to find.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Pulled from vineyards at the foot of the Andes in the Uco Valley, this captures the fresh mountain influence as well as the cold 2013 vintage in its spicy and refreshing flavors, the wine rich in crunchy, juicy cherry and blackberry notes. Open now for meat lasagna, or save it for a couple of years, as the tannins still need a little bit of time to calm.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Ripe borderline raisiny aromas include earth, cedar and graphite scents. This is concentrated, grabby and fully extracted. Flavors of jammy black fruits blend with spicy saucy notes prior to a finish with flavors of tomato, herbs, salt and gamy meat. Firm acidity guarantees this will last at least another five years before falling off.
TP 90
Tasting Panel
A classic Argentine Malbec from the producer that jump-started the country’s wine industry. Structured, balanced and supple with bright blackberry fruit and a tangy, stylish finish.
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Catena

Catena

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Catena, Mendoza, 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 export 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.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

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 but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

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.

STC214109_2013 Item# 144352