2022 Bodegas Catena Zapata Chardonnay appellation Tupungato
For the Chardonnay 'Appellation', Chardonnay grapes from vineyards in Tupungato, which are planted at different heights, were chosen. The highest vineyards are at 1500 meters, which gives this wine a special freshness. The lower vineyards are still located at about 1000 meters and deliver Chardonnay with fat and a rounded character. These grapes are also harvested earlier, in mid-March, while those from the highest vineyards are not harvested until April. The combination is ideal. This is also taken into account when making wine. Some of the grapes ferment in wood, the rest in tanks. However, all wine is matured in oak barrels, one third of which are new. The malic acid fermentation is only partially carried out, in order to retain the fresh elements in addition to the rich ones. The wine has a special strength and depth, also because the yields are kept low. The vineyard is maintained organically, but is not certified for this. A beautiful Chardonnay, which is a perfect addition to Catena's beautiful range.
In the glass the wine has a bright straw yellow color with a hint of green. On the nose the wine has very pleasant citrus fruit, flowers, pear and peach, beautifully in harmony with the vanilla of the barrels. On the palate, this Catena Zapata Chardonnay is pure and lively, beautifully broad, but at the same time with a stimulating freshness, good acidity, a subtle glass. Serve at Mooi with toast with smoked salmon, salad with smoked haddock and potato, sole
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'.
92/100 Parker (2021)
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
|Drinking as of
|James Suckling rating
|Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Rich, Round, Full, White fruit
|Barbecue, Cadeau!, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard, Romantisch