Catena Zapata Nicolas 2003
72% Cabernet Sauvignon; 28% Malbec
The core Cabernet Sauvignon fruit component was sourced from Lot 3 of La Pirámide vineyard. With exceptional homogeneity and balance, these Cabernet Sauvignon grapes offer rich cassis flavors, supple texture and excellent structure. Two additional components of Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced from Lot 2 of the Domingo Vineyard and Lot 5 of the Adrianna Vineyard. These high altitude, cool climate vineyards provide fruit with ripe red currant flavors, strong mineral tones and notes of eucalyptus and black pepper.
The core Malbec fruit component was sourced from Lot 3 of the Adrianna Vineyard, the highest Malbec vineyard in Mendoza. This extremely cold, mountain microclimate produces exceptionally concentrated Malbec grapes with dark fruit flavors, perfumed violet aromas and well structured tannins. A second component is sourced from Lot 1 of the southerly located Altamira vineyard. Another cool area for Malbec, the fruit from this vineyard presents ripe cassis flavors and well balanced, racy acidity.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Herbs and earth with mushrooms and cedar and light nail polish. Full-bodied, layered and flavorful with lots of mushroom and ginger undertones. Delicious at the finish, but starting to pull apart. 72% cabernet sauvignon and 28% malbec.
Dark, rich and polished, showing layers of sweet dark cherry, plum and currant fruit, with bacony toast, dark licorice and molten chocolate notes. The plush, exotic finish lets fig sauce and mocha notes linger. Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.
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 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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.