Wine Advocate 92
The 2014 Chardonnay is a blend of three vineyards. The vineyards are divided into lots that are harvested at different times: Agrelo at 3,117 foot elevation, Villa Bastías at 3,675 foot elevation and Gualtallary at 4,757 foot elevation. Each vineyard is vinified differently and aged separately. The wines are blended at the end before bottling. The nose is subtly oaked with white fruit and floral aromas. The palate is medium-bodied and has very nice acidity which makes the wine not only fresher, but also longer and more mineral. This is the freshest of all the vintages of this Chardonnay, and the change in vineyards is really noticeable. Super! 350,000 bottles produced. Catena might be the most important winery in Argentina, producing both quantity and quality, which is something uncommon. There is a very wide range of wines offered at very different price points, with the entry-level offering very good value and the high-end delivering world-class wines. My favorites come from their famous Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary, the most fashionable appellation at the moment, where they were pioneers. Anything wearing the Catena name is guaranteed to deliver what the label says: grape, vintage and place. Why can't all large producers be like Catena?
Bodegas Catena ZapataView all from Bodegas Catena Zapata
In 1902, Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, planted his first vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery has remained under family control -- now in its fourth generation -- and is one of the few family-owned wine companies in Argentina that remains in Argentine hands. Owned today by Nicolás Catena and his daughter Laura, Bodega Catena Zapata is known as the pioneer of fine wine from Argentina, and Nicolás is recognized as the vintner who revolutionized wine quality in Argentina. A trained economist, Nicolás began this revolution in the early 1980s and continues to challenge himself and his team to make wines that can be counted among the best in the world. His measured approach to viticulture has taken its place in wine history as the pioneer of Malbec and high-altitude viticulture.
Catena wines, first launched in 1992, set a new standard for quality in South America. The wines immediately proved the quality potential of Argentina and garnered the first outstanding reviews for Argentine wines from worldwide media. After more than 20 years, the wines of Catena continue to lead the way in Argentine viticulture and winemaking. The family and the winery's employees take great pride in carrying on the tradition that began over a century ago.