Catena Zapata

Catena Zapata Catena Alta Malbec 2020, Mendoza

R1,195

A serious expression of Malbec, beautifully layered

In stock

Additional information

Additional information

Critics Top Rating

93 points

Curated Selection

NEW, Top Rated, Bestsellers, Organic & Biodynamic, Women in Wine

Grape Variety

Malbec

Producer

Catena Zapata

Product Type

Red Wine

Vintage

2020

Wine Group

Boutique, Prestige

Wine Occasion

Formal Entertainment

Wine Region

Argentina

Story

Story

Founded in 1902, Argentina’s Bodega Catena Zapata is known for its pioneering role in resurrecting Malbec and in discovering extreme high-altitude terroirs in the Andean foothills of Mendoza. 3rd generation Nicolas led the way in showcasing the world class of Argentinean wines globally, leading the way in viticulture and winemaking, carrying the tradition with pride, challenging themselves continuously to craft wines that can be counted among the best in the world.

CatenaClassic– is an expression from 100% estate-grown cultivars from the family’s high-altitude vineyards, with high attention to details to preserve the unique expression, aromas and flavors of the fruit, adding a heightened complexity to the final wine.

The Catenas led the way in extensively mapping their estate vineyards for decades, in order to discover the differences in soil structure, clonal selection, row orientation, slope or plantation density. This resulted in a mix of wine character and concentration with a one-of-a-kind personality, giving birth to Catena Alta in the 1990s, which spearheaded the first top-quality releases of its kind from Argentina.

Nicolás still yearned to make wines that could stand with the world’s greats. To do this, he knew he needed to grow fruit of unprecedented quality, with a level of concentration, complexity and balance never before seen in Argentina. Once each specific lot was identified and its potential revealed through row-by-row micro-vinification, Nicolás developed a plant-by-plant selection through which he could further enhance the characteristics of each lot. Today the Zapata vines are specifically marked and meticulously cared for as the mother plants to the Zapata Four: Nicolás Catena Zapata, Malbec Argentino, Adrianna Malbec and Nicasia Malbec.

Their hard work and dedication behind crafting such fine wines, Terroir refinement hasn’t been unnoticed, with the winery voted as #1 World Best Vineyard and firmly established as 2nd most admired wine brand in the world in 2023. They also started a dynasty, today pursued by Nicolas’ daughter Laura who has taken the helm, recognized as wine personality of the year 2022 with her work on Terroir and sustainability.

Specifications

Specifications

WINE DESCRIPTION

Nicola Catena planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza in 1902. His grandson, Nicolás Catena, is known as the man who revolutionized Argentine wine and introduced high altitude Malbec to the world. The Historic Catena Zapata vineyards are planted with the Catena family’s proprietary selection of malbec plants: the Catena Cuttings. Catena Alta Malbec is sourced from Lot 18 of the Angélica vineyard, Lot 4 of the La Pirámide vineyard, Lot 1 of the Nicasia vineyard, Lot 6 of the Angélica Sur vineyard and Lot 9 of the Adrianna vineyard.

VINIFICATION

Vineyard lots are harvested at different times to ensure optimal natural acidity and moderate alcohol levels. Whole berries are hand loaded into small format fermentation bins and 225-500 L barrels; lots from each vineyard are treated individually; fermentation and maceration last for 15-22 days; cold maceration. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel; wine undergoes active battonage to protect it and drastically reduce the amount of SO2 needed. Aged for 12-18 months in French oak.

HISTORIC ROWS

Catena Alta is an assemblage of historic rows within the Catena family Estate vineyards. The blend of these historic rows, like the marriage of sounds that create a symphony, yields a highly aromatic and elegant wine that speaks for the earth and the vines that have been tended by the Catenas for four generations. The Catena Alta wines can usually be drunk starting at three years after harvest and into the following one to two decades.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

  • Varietal: 100% Malbec
  • Alcohol: 13.80 %
  • Total Acidity: 6,25 grams/liter

pH: 3.55

VINEYARDS

  • Lot 18, Angelica Vineyard, Maipú, Luján de Cuyo (920m/3018ft). Aluvial origin. Loamy clay in the topsoil with rounded rocks on the bottom.
  • Lot 4, La Piramide Vineyard, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo (950m/3116ft). Aluvial origin. Clay topsoil with rounded rocks on the bottom.
  • Lot 1, Nicasia Vineyard, Altamira, San Carlos, Valle de Uco (1095m/3592ft). Aluvial origin. Loamy soil, with rounded rocks on the bottom.
  • Lot 9, Adrianna vineyard Tupungato, Valle de Uco (1450m/4757ft). Aluvial origin. Gravel and limestone. Rounded rocks in the bottom.
  • Lot 6, Angélica Sur Vineyard, San Carlos, Valle de Uco. (1100m/3608ft). Sandy loam with presence of graveland limestone.

 

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

Catena Alta Malbec shows a deep violet color, with blue reflections. The nose is elegant and complex with ripe red and black berry fruits, notes of violets and lavender and a touch of leather, spice and vanilla flavors. The palate is full and rich with soft and sweet tannins and a silky, smooth structure. Multiple layers of rich cassis, black currant and blackberries are interwoven with hints of licorice and black pepper. Its lengthy finish is marked by wonderful minerality, finely grained tannins and lively acidity.

Critic Ratings

Critic Ratings

Wine Spectator – 93 points

Gorgeous and elegantly layered, with orange peel, hibiscus and hints of river mint as the entry to red currant and wild strawberry flavors, which are enlivened by a crunchy base of mineral acidity that allows the core flavors to spread out and linger around suave tannins. Drink now through 2032.


Robert Parker Wine Advocate – 93 points

The perfumed and floral 2020 Catena Alta Malbec is serious and keeps the balance and poise in this warm and challenging year of the pandemic. It’s ripe without excess at 13.8% alcohol and has mellow acidity, coming through as serious and balanced in the palate, with abundant, fine-grained tannins and a tasty and long finish. It’s a serious Malbec that overdelivers for the conditions of the year.


James Suckling – 93 points
Ripe and racy fruit full of dried strawberries, cherries and some sweet spices. Juicy and generous on the medium-bodied palate with some sappy, sweet fruit. Firm but approachable.

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