Bodega Catena Zapata Alta Malbec 2016 (Mendoza, Argentina) "...rich, powerful, fresh..."
Nicola Catena planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza in 1902. His grandson, Nicolás Catena, is known as the man who revolutionized Argentine wine and introduced high altitude Malbec to the world. The Historic Catena Zapata vineyards are planted with the Catena family’s proprietary selection of malbec plants: the Catena Cuttings. Catena Alta Malbec is sourced from Block 18 of the Angélica vineyard, Block 4 of the La Pirámide vineyard, Block 1 of the Nicasia vineyard, Block 6 of the Angélica Sur vineyard and Blocks 3 & 9 of the Adrianna vineyard.
Vineyard lots are harvested at different times to ensure optimal natural acidity and moderate alcohol levels. Whole berries are hand loaded into small format fermentation bins and 225-500 L barrels; lots from each vineyard are treated individually; fermentation and maceration last for 28-30 days; cold maceration. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel; wine undergoes active battonage to protect it and drastically reduce the amount of SO2 needed. Aged for 18 months in French oak.
"I also had the chance to taste the 2016 Catena Alta Malbec, when they used a higher percentage of grapes from Nicasia. In this vintage, it's truly 100% Malbec that fermented in tank with full clusters and finished fermenting after pressing, without skins. It's serious and elegant, with the year's signature freshness. 2016 has really marked the wines with great freshness. This is serious and with zero sweetness, complete and direct. 42,000 bottles produced." - 94 Points, Wine Advocate
"Plenty of cocoa powder as well as violets follow through to some serious tannins that are already well integrated. They and the crisp acidity give the dry finish some assertive power." - 92 Points, James Suckling
"Made from 100% Malbec from a number of vineyards (Angélica, La Pirámide, Nicasia and Adrianna) fermented and aged in 70% new barrels, the 2016 Malbec Historic Rows is an incredibly elegant, seamless wine that has an almost Burgundian style in its mulberry, blueberries, incense, forest floor, and spring flower-laced aromas and flavors. Beautiful on the palate as well, with medium to full body, supple tannins, and terrific balance, this is one of those wines that grows on you with time in the glass and shines on all accounts. Drink it any time over the coming decade or more." - 92 Points, Vinous