2019 Bodegas Catena Zapata Malbec Nicasia Vineyard
In 2001, Nicolás' daughter, Laura Catena, takes charge of the research and development program of the company Bodega Catena Zapata (Zapata is Nicolás' mother's maiden name). She continues the research into the very best Malbec wines, which in 2004 leads to the introduction of the Nicasia and Adrianna Vineyard wines. The Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard is a single vineyard Malbec with vines from Nicasia in Altamira (La Consulta) in the south of the Uco Valley. The vineyard is located in a calcareous zone which makes this Argentinian malbec unique and great. The grapes were fermented in the barrel with 5% Cabernet Franc. The grapes were harvested at six different times (depending on the terroir of the vineyard). Ripe red & black fruit, notes of ripe melon, very spicy with round and polished tannins, but also with very good freshness and a nice acidity.
The Malbec grapes for the 2019 Catena Zapata Nicasia vineyard were picked very early but with good ripeness due to low yields in a very dry year. It ferments in open-top vats with 100% full bunches and native yeasts and matured in 500-litre oak casks. It is a balanced and elegant Malbec with some restraint and a very fine minerality on the palate, with very fine tannins. It follows the path of the phenomenal 2018, fine and elegant. Bodega Catena Zapata is considered the flagship of Argentina's wineries. Robert Parker's statement says a lot: 'when all is said and done, Catena Zapata is the Argentina winery of reference, the standard of excellence'.
97/100 Parker & 95/100 Suckling
The leading house Catena Zapata has been active in Argentinian viticulture for 4 generations. Bodega Catena Zapata was founded by Nicola Catena who left Italy by sailing ship to Argentina in 1898. He eventually ended up in Mendoza and planted his first vineyard here in 1902 with the grape variety Malbec. His son, Domingo, inherited the winery and realized his father's dream of becoming one of the greatest vineyard owners in Mendoza.
In the 1960s, the winery went through a difficult period due to the poor economy and rising inflation. Nicolás Catena, Domingo's son with an economics degree, took over in the mid-1960s and concentrated on expanding distribution in Argentina. He sold the table wine producing winery and kept only Bodegas Esmeralda, the winery of fine wines.
Argentina was known at the time as a bulk wine producing country and Nicolás was therefore considered crazy. But he insisted on looking for the best locations to plant vineyards, including in Gualtallary at high altitudes. In the 1980s he started to plant the grape varieties Chardonnay and Malbec. According to his own vineyard manager, the latter grape would never ripen here, but fortunately for Nicolás he did.
It took him five years before he was completely satisfied with the Malbec grape in the 60-year-old Angélica vineyard for the production of the Catena Malbec in 1994. A little later he started producing the Catena Alta wines, from the best plots. from its vineyards. He also grew many clones of the Malbec and managed to find the most suitable vineyard for each of them.
In the late 90s he started making some top cuvées which he called Catena Zapata (after the name of his mother Angélica Zapata). These wines are produced exclusively in exceptionally good years. Bodega Catena Zapata produces five different lines, mostly from vineyards at an altitude of 900 meters or more: Catena Zapata, Catena Alta, Catena, Alamos and Argento.
|Type of Wine||Red|
|Appellation||Valle de Uco|
|Drinking as of||2022|
|James Suckling rating||95|
|Tasting Profiles||Complex, Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Red fruit, Tannines, Full|
|Drink moments||Indruk maken, Lekker luxe|