Part 4: Catena and the
is one of Argentinaís most celebrated wineries. We visited the
Adrianna vineyard, which is their highest, at 1500 metres above sea
level in its highest part. Itís 115 hectares, with Malbec the
principal variety, as well as a bit of Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sauvignon
Blanc and Merlot.
Adrianna Vineyard, Mendoza - 1400 m
here are sandy and shallow. Leaf removal is practiced on the side of
the row that gets the morning sun. Thus the grapes benefit from some
UV exposure, but arenít burned by the afternoon sun. Row spacing
is mostly 2 m ◊ 1.5 m (4000 vines per hectare), but the newer
blocks are 1.8 m ◊ 1 m (5500Ė7000 plants/hectare).
altitude helps ripen the stems, and so almost a third of the red
wines made from this vineyard have the stems included in the
fermentation. Stem tannin can add really great structure to the
Jeff Mausbach and Alejandro
key signature is that it adds aromatics and minerality to the wine.
The best bits of the vineyard, which contribute to Catena Alta and
Zapata, are protected by hail netting. This costs US$8000 per
hectare and the nets are supposed to last for 15 years. Hail is a
significant threat in Mendoza, and there was evidence of hail damage
in some of the unprotected blocks.
Molinari and Alejandro pour for us; Jeff looks on
wines were fantastic, with lovely definition and purity.
Alta Chardonnay 2005
This comes from the Adrianna vineyard. Very rich, intense nose
but it has some minerally freshness too, alongside the toasty
richness. The palate is fine with nice rich mealy, concentrated
fruit balanced by fresh minerality and citrus notes. 91/100
Zapata Malbec Nicasia Vineyard 2004
This comes from Altamira, in the west of La Consulta. Lovely
purity to the fruit on the nose, with violet notes and focused
aromatics. The palate is fresh with lovely focus and elegance. Pure,
concentrated and balanced with smooth tannins and bright fruit.
Fantastic stuff. 93/100
Zapata Malbec Adrianna Vineyard Gualtallary 2004
Lovely elegant aromatics: itís beautifully floral with pure
fruit. Fantastic fruit purity on the palate with lots of tannin, but
itís really smooth tannin. Elegant and deep with real presence.
Zapata Malbec 2004
A blend from two lots. Delightfully aromatic with lovely floral
notes and some meaty spiciness in the background. Pure and elegant.
The palate is concentrated and smooth with fresh dark fruits and
brilliant balance. Fantastic stuff with real definition and purity.
Wines tasted 03/08
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com