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Catena Zapata Nicolas 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from Argentina
  • RP98
  • WS95
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WE94
  • JS93
  • JS95
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • RP95
  • WW95
  • WE93
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Winemaker Notes

Nicolás Catena Zapata is made from a selection of the best lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec in the Catena Zapata Vineyards. The first Nicolás Catena Zapata was made in 1997, a phenomenal Cabernet Sauvignon vintage in Mendoza. The 1997 Nicolás Catena Zapata was released in 2000 through a series of blind tastings held in the USA and Europe where it was compared blind to Chateau Latour, Haut Brion, Solaia, Caymus and Opus One. The Nicolás Catena Zapata 1997 came in either first or second in every tasting. This wine is only produced in outstanding vintage years.

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 Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
WS 95
Wine Spectator
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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.

MSD30067784_2004 Item# 93272

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