2019 Bodegas Catena Zapata Alta Chardonnay
The Catena Alta Chardonnay comes from the Adrianna and Domingo vineyards at 1,120 meters altitude and this also explains the name Alta. The large differences between the day and night temperatures make this Catena Alta Chardonnay a very complex and perfectly balanced wine (fruit and acid). The calcareous soils and the cool climate and the Andes mountains with its 5000m high mountains provide the promised land for the Chardonnay grape. The purity and minerality of the Catena Zapata Alta Chardonnay is unique in its kind and cannot be found anywhere else (including the Mendoza).
In the glass, the Zapata Alta Chardonnay has a beautiful gold color. It has beautiful tropical tones and beautiful nicely integrated oak (the wine was aged for 14 months in French oak). The unique thing about this chardonnay are the honey/aromatic notes because they use around 5% of grapes that have already developed botrytis. Rich and concentrated taste of ripe pear, apple and apricot, spiced with some nutmeg. The taste is medium-bodied and round, with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. Exuberant, unique and beautiful.
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'.
93/100 Parker & 94/100 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||White|
|Appellation||Valle de Uco|
|Drinking as of||2021|
|James Suckling rating||94|
|Tasting Profiles||Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Rich, Round, Full, White fruit|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Cadeau!, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard, Romantisch|