Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Stones Malbec 2017
The 2017 Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Stones Malbec is floral, exuberant, lengthy smooth tannins, metallic. Malbec is the ideal partner to a grilled meat dish or platter.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Incredible aromas of blackberries, hot stones, wet earth and flowers. Full-bodied, it floats across the palate with ultra-fine tannins that melt into the wine. Superb, long finish of subtle fruit and terroir-defined subtleties. Try in 2022, but already a dream to taste.
One of three Malbecs from the Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary, the 2017 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones was surprisingly fresh for the conditions of the year. They discarded a small plot that was a little too ripe. The wine fermented with full clusters and finished fermenting without skins or stems (like a white), and this was done with 100% of the volume, because in previous years, it was done for maybe 70% of the wine. This helps with the texture and the minerality, a mouthfeel rather than a flavor, reminiscent of the stony soils covered with limestone. This tends to be the most austere of the three bottlings, but it shows a little more fruit; and there is a lot of acidity, but it's nicely coated by the fruit. The result is a beautifully textured Malbec that seems to open up slowly in the glass—the violet and berry aromas get complicated by some spice (curry?), and the palate feels more layered. This is a superb expression of the austere wildness of Gualtallary.
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.
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.