jamie goode's wine blog: Nicolas Catena Zapata, a first growth from Argentina

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Nicolas Catena Zapata, a first growth from Argentina

Tonight's wine is a serious effort from Argentina, in a grand bottle that weighs 1.2 kg empty! Actually, I opened it last night, but was confused. Either this was a top class wine being judged very early in its life, or it was a rather grotesque misjudgment on the part of the winemaker. The problem was the extremely ripe fruit profile allied with masses of new oak. Was this a spoofulated modern wine, or actually something quite serious? I witheld judgment until tonight, when I went back to the wine. My verdict? While it currently shows spoofy tendencies, and could potentially be even better with a little less overt ripeness and oak, it is an Argentinean first growth.

Nicolas Catena Zapata 2005 Argentina
Approximately two-thirds Cabernet and one-third Malbec, this is a serious effort from one of Argentina's top producers. A concentrated, dark coloured wine it is currently extremely oaky: on opening, there's a big waft of vanilla and spice, along with ripe, sweet blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. After a while, this oak subsides a little, revealing more interesting floral and mineral notes under the super-ripe fruit. The palate is dense, smooth, ripe and rich with concentrated sweet fruits and some smooth but spicy tannic structure hiding underneath it. Currently quite oak dominated, all the ingredients are here for a long, graceful evolution. Don't open this now, but in five, ten or fifteen years, I reckon it will be quite special. It's 'new world' in style, and I'd probably prefer a little less ripeness, but it's serious. 93/100

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At 11:19 PM, Blogger sraible said...

This post has been removed by the author.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Enotheque said...

It isn't a bad wine, not at all in fact, it's good. I enjoyed your interview with Clark Smith, by the way. In terms of Catena, and as an Argentine though, I must say that a great many of Catena's wine are consistently and hopelessly spoofulated for obvious reasons.

At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, giving a try until 2.020 then, but, in my own experience, Argentinian and Chilean are perfectly ready at five years old.


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