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Catena Zapata Nicolas 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
  • RP95
  • JS95
  • WS94
14% ABV
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4.4 7 Ratings
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4.4 7 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Nicolás Catena Zapata has an intense, deep purple color with bluish-black tones. On the nose, aromas of black fruits – blackberries, black cherries, black plums – predominate with subtle notes of vanilla and dark chocolate intermingled with savory hints of green olive and a stony minerality. On the palate, the wine is tremendously complex, unfolding layer upon layer of ripe and baked black fruits. Black cherries and blackberries give way to cassis, mocha, and vanilla followed by notes of licorice, baking spices, and a hint of saline minerality. The wine is remarkably concentrated with a firm tannic structure providing the backbone for the lush fruit. The finish is long, a foretoken of the long aging potential of this Argentine masterpiece.

Let the Nicolás Catena Zapata open in a decanter while you grill a Bone-in Ribeye Steak to perfection. Pour yourself a glass. Bliss.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Zapata is from selected vines marked by a red sash in order to raise the wine with meticulous care. It is 10% whole cluster and 90% whole berry fruit that is aged in 80% new French oak for 24 months. It is pieced together from a mind-boggling 210 separate row micro-vinifications of multifarious lots and harvest times and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Malbec. It has a spellbinding bouquet that exudes minerality, as if crushed stones had been sprinkled into the black fruit. With continued aeration, there are scents of oyster shell and black olive. The palate is full-bodied, with immense structure and backbone. The acidity is beautifully judged with filigree tannins that render the finish so elegant and refined, with notes of blackberry, soy, black plum and that stony aftertaste. Magnificent. Drink 2014-2035.
JS 95
James Suckling
Lots of spices, red chili flake, dark berry and fresh aromas. Full body, with chewy tannins and juicy finish. Sexy and wonderful textured. Lively and gorgeous. Only 20% new oak. 75% cabernet franc and 25% malbec.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
A concentrated yet lively red, with embedded acidity backing rich cassis, racy black cherry puree and mocha notes. This is detailed, delivering a long finish of spice cake, tarry mineral and fruit. Delicious now, but will reward patience. Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Best from 2014 through 2019.
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Catena

Catena

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Catena, Mendoza, 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.

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By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.

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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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

WBO30098593_2009 Item# 127661