Catena Zapata

Catena Zapata Nicolas 2015, Mendoza

R2,895

Nicolas, the Flagship from Catena Zapata, is a giant – intense, complex blend to stand over time

In stock

Additional information

Additional information

Critics Top Rating

96 points

Curated Selection

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

Grape Variety

Bordeaux Blend, Malbec

Producer

Catena Zapata

Product Type

Red Wine

Vintage

2015

Wine Group

Prestige

Wine Occasion

Indulgence, Icon & Invest

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

The inaugural 1997 vintage of this Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend set a new standard of quality for wines from South America when it won a series of blind tastings against other prestigious cuvées from around the world.

VINEYARD

Harvest time varies depending on each lot’s soil composition. Harvest time can vary by several weeks between one lot and another within the same vineyard.

  • La Pirámide Vineyard: 3,117 ft (950 m). Agrelo District, Luján de Cuyo Region, Mendoza, Argentina. Deep alluvial loam with 30% clay that decreases soil temperature by 35,6ºF (2ºC) in average. Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Nicasia Vineyard: 3,593 ft (1,095 m). Altamira en La Consulta District, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina. Very shallow loamy topsoil with surface gravel and gravelly (large stones) dry river bed subsoil – optimal drainage. Malbec.
  • Adrianna Vineyard: 4,757 ft (1,450 m). Gualtallary District, Tupungato Region, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina. Alluvial, gravelly with limestone deposits in the topsoil. Malbec.

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

  • Winemaker: Alejandro Vigil
  • Varietal: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Malbec
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • Total Acidity: 6.2 grams/liter
  • pH: 3.4
  • Unfined and unfiltered.

VINIFICATION

10% whole cluster and 90% whole berry fruit is hand-loaded into 225-500 liter first and second use French oak foudres for a 100% barrel fermentation for a period of 15 days, allowing seamless oak integration. The fermentation temperature is kept low, extracting intense aromas, and the cap management is done by hand to ensure soft, gentle flavors and tannin extraction. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel leaves considerable lees and sediment. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. 210 separate row microvinifications from different lots and harvest times.

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes

Nicolás Catena Zapata has an intense dark violet color with blue-black tones. A complex wine with delicate aromas of black cherry and licorice, it is enlivened by minerals, violet, spice, and herbs. The palate is sharply delineated and impressively concentrated, with a serious backbone supporting its very fresh currant and mineral flavors.

Critic Ratings

Critic Ratings

Robert Parker Wine Advocate – 93 points

Along with the 2014 vintage, I also tasted the 2015 Nicolás Catena Zapata. The 2015 is higher in Cabernet Sauvignon, which represents 83% of the final blend, while Malbec comprises the remaining 17%. It feels quite ripe, with notes of cherries and an earthy touch. It’s juicy and soft, very approachable, even though it has the Cabernet’s textbook tannins. 72,000 bottles produced.

I tasted a very large collection of wines from Catena Zapata. All of these wines are highly recommendable, but the wines from the Adrianna Vineyard range are truly gobsmacking good and world class. I had the chance to taste slowly through three vintages of the three reds and two of the whites, and it made a fascinating comparison. The profile is austere and mineral, and sometimes they take time to open up. They are, of course, very young wines destined for a long life in bottle. The quality is extremely high, and it’s a matter of preference as to which plot or vintage style you like best. 2014 is austere and a bit herbal, 2015 showed a little riper and 2016 seems to be the most complete of the three, with super sharp, linear whites and austere reds for the long haul. The 2014s were released a while ago, the 2015s are arriving on the market right now and the 2016s will take about one more year to hit the shelves. I’m talking reds, as the whites should be released by December 2018. Just as I saw last time, the Appellation range is clearly the sweet spot, especially in 2016, when the wines clearly overdeliver. And it is impressive how the character of each wine is maintained and identifiable in every vintage.

 


James Suckling – 96 points

A giant. Not only in Argentina’s strong suit in terms of power, it also shows finesse and aromatic complexity. There are all manner of blackberries, smoke, chocolate and spicy notes. Built on a panoramic scale, but full of energy and enormous refinement. The finish cascades on and on. A blend of 83% cabernet sauvignon and 17% malbec. Try in 2021.


Tim Atkin – 96 points
Decanter – 94 points

2015 was a Bordeaux-esque vintage – a cool summer with early autumn rains resulted in lower alcohol and higher acidity. This is made up of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon from Agrelo and 17% Malbec from Gualtallary and Altamira. It’s incredibly young and primary, showing black and blue fruits with a subtle gravelly, smoky touch and a yoghurt-like lactic creaminess. It’s rounded and smooth in the mouth, with cedary oak that still needs plenty of time to knit together. The tannins are firm and round and the concentrated fruits have a lovely energy and effortless elegance, with lovely graphite touches and bright, lively acidity. One for the long haul. Drinking Window 2026 – 2045

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