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Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard Malbec 2007

Malbec from Argentina
  • WS96
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • W&S92
13.5% ABV
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  • RP96
  • JS94
  • WE92
  • RP95
  • JS95
  • WW94
  • W&S92
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  • D96
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • RP93
  • WE93
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  • RP95
  • WS91
  • WE97
  • WS95
  • RP94
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  • WS94
  • RP96
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Catena Zapata Malbec Nicasia Vineyard is one of the three top-tier Malbecs first released by the winery in 2007. The wine exemplifies Nicolas Catena's success and pioneering research with the Malbec grape in Mendoza. The Nicasia Vineyard, named after Nicolas Catena's grandmother, is a small, specially selected number of rows in Lot 1 of the Catena family's Altamira Vineyard. Planted in 1996, the Malbec vines are on their own rootstock and part of a massal population from the Catena family's historic, 80-year-old Angelica vineyard.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 96
Wine Spectator
This shows how powerful Argentine Malbec can be, with a torrent of blackberry, boysenberry and bittersweet ganache notes. But there's exceptional drive and focus here as well, with a great graphite spine driving through the spice- and floral-infused finish. A stunner for its combination of power and precision, and the best wine yet from this winery. Best from 2011 through 2016.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The single vineyard Malbecs begin with the 2007 Nicasia Vineyard Malbec. It was barrel-fermented and aged for 18 months in 100% new oak including a racking into a second set of new barrels (the so-called “200% new oak” treatment). A glass-coating opaque purple/black in color, it offers up a splendid nose of toasty new oak, earth notes, exotic spices, black cherry and black raspberry. This is followed by a plush, layered, intensely flavored wine with potential complexity, precision balance, and a seamless finish. Give it 4-6 years of cellaring and drink it through 2027, probably longer, these wines have no track record of longevity.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Among Catena's high-end wines from 2007, Nicasia is the top performer. It shows alluring aromas of smoky oak, wild flowers and pure berry fruits. The Palate is a blend of smoothness, grainy tannins and fine acidity, while the flavors of berries, chocolate and cola are layered just right. Still, the pacesetter for high-end Argentine Malbec; drink now through 2015.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Argentino is a blend of Catena’s three principal malbec vineyards: Adrianna, Nicasia and Angélica. In this warm vintage the aromas and flavors recall sweet blackberries; it’s framed by a powerful structure, the tannins as sinewy as the muscles of a long-distance runner. Wait two or three years for this wine to gain in complexity, or drink it now with roast wild boar.
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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.

YNGCZNV07_2007 Item# 108380