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.
"The 2018 Catena Alta Malbec shows more evolution and ripeness than the 2019. It's varietal and floral with a mixture of red and black fruit, sweet spices and aromatic herbs. It has moderate ripeness—in fact, it's a little lower in alcohol than the 2019—a medium body and fine-grained tannins, with good grip. 162,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in October 2019." - 93 Points, Wine Advocate
"Well-structured and juicy, with dark cherry and plum tart flavors that feature firm tannins and acidity. The spicy finish offers baker's chocolate notes and peppery hints." - 91 Points, Wine Spectator