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Catena Zapata Nicolas 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Argentina
  • RP98
  • WS93
14.5% ABV
  • RP96
  • WE94
  • JS93
  • JS95
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • RP95
  • WW95
  • WE93
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4.3 4 Ratings
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4.3 4 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Nicolas Catena Zapata 2008 has an intense dark violet color with bluish-black tones. Complex wine; Super-ripe aromas of black cherry, dark chocolate and licorice, enlivened by minerals, violet, pepper and herbs. Then penetrating, sharply delineated and impressively concentrated, with a serious backbone supporting its very fresh currant and mineral flavors; the vibrant, echoing finish suggests that this wine will have even more to say in a couple of years.

78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Nicolas Catena Zapata is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec, and the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc that spent 24 months in 100% new French oak followed by 24 months in bottle prior to release. It delivers an inviting bouquet of wood smoke, pencil lead, espresso, incense, lavender, black currant, and black cherry. This sets the stage for a full-bodied, powerful yet elegant, beautifully proportioned effort with great depth and volume. It conceals plenty of structure and will effortlessly evolve for 6-8 years, drinking well through 2028, if not longer.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Dark and concentrated, with a creamy edge to its jammy cassis, blueberry preserve and black cherry skin notes. There's fine tannins and enough acidity to keep the spice- and tobacco-tinged finish moving along. Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.
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Catena

Catena

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Catena, , South America
Catena
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.

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vienyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

RPT314396_2008 Item# 114688

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