Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Malbec 2019
This wine is floral, exuberant, with lengthy smooth tannins, and metallic notes.
This cuvée takes its name from a small parcel of the Adrianna Vineyard that is completely covered with oval white stones and was the site of an ancient riverbed. The abundant stones provide optimal drainage and extreme temperatures. They absorb heat and moderate the nights, but also function like ice cubes after a very cold night. Stony soil Malbecs tend to be extremely aromatic, rich and luxurious, just like the River Malbec from Adrianna. This wine can be enjoyed young or aged for decades.
Pair with grilled meats.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The old River Stones has seen its name simplified to 2019 Adrianna Vineyard River. This is an exceptional vintage for this bottling, from a very stony part of the large Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary, close to the dry river. It's the equivalent to the White Stones white, with a north-facing exposure, the warmer exposure, which in cooler years like 2019 works nicely. The wine has harmony and subtleness, insinuating violets and wet stones, with a rare combination of power and elegance, with minerality and spice, precise, focused and harmonious. The tannins are abundant but very fine and ripe with a chalky sensation in the finish. It has 13.8% alcohol and very good freshness, acidity and healthy parameters. Best after 2023.
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.
With a winning combination of cool weather, high elevation and well-draining alluvial soils, it is no surprise that Mendoza’s Uco Valley is one of the most exciting up-and-coming wine regions in Argentina. Healthy, easy-to-manage vines produce low yields of high-quality fruit, which in turn create flavorful, full-bodied wines with generous acidity.
This is the source of some of the best Malbec in Mendoza, which can range from value-priced to ultra-premium. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay also perform well here.
Celebrated for its bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec has enjoyed runaway success in Argentina since the late 20th century. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. A French agronomist, who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. Somm Secret—If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet with its combination of dense fruit and soft tannins.