2020 Catena Zapata Cabernet Franc Appellations San Carlos
The appellation range continues to grow at Catena Zapata and the new name this time is the Appellation San Carlos Cabernet Franc, produced with grapes of the most fashionable red variety at the moment. The wine comes from 20-year-old vines in El Cepillo, one of San Carlos' cooler places in the Uco Valley. It matures in French oak barrels for one year before bottling. Can't beat the price/quality ratio.
The vineyards of San Carlos are located at an altitude of 1,090 meters. The soil is of alluvial origin, which means that the soil is made up of different layers. The vineyards consist for 70% of a loamy sandy soil with thick lime layers with rounded rocks on the bottom. The remainder consists of 10% small and 20% sludge. This wine undergoes a cold maceration at 10ºC for 3 days. The juice is then fermented for 20 days followed by a maceration of 10 days. After fermentation, the wine matures for 12 months in French oak barrels (35% of which are new). The selection of barrels varies depending on the vineyard and vintage.
In the glass, this 100% cabernet franc is deep purple-red. The San Carlos Cabernet Franc from Zapata is a full-bodied wine with intense notes of ripe cherries, strawberries and a hint of raspberry. In addition, a touch of vanilla and caramel. In the mouth the wine is juicy, full and elegant in taste with ripe red fruit, eucalyptus and a hint of laurel.
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||92|
|Tasting Profiles||Dry, Fruity, Red fruit, Flexible|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Borrelen, Met vrienden, Open haard, Voor alledag|