James Suckling 96
A giant. Not only in Argentinas strong suit in terms of power, it also shows finesse and aromatic complexity. There are all manner of blackberries, smoke, chocolate and spicy notes. Built on a panoramic scale, but full of energy and enormous refinement. The finish cascades on and on. A blend of 83 cabernet sauvignon and 17 malbec. Try in 2021.
2015 was a Bordeaux-esque vintage - a cool summer with early autumn rains resulted in lower alcohol and higher acidity. This is made up of 83 Cabernet Sauvignon from Agrelo and 17 Malbec from Gualtallary and Altamira. Its incredibly young and primary, showing black and blue fruits with a subtle gravelly, smoky touch and a yoghurt-like lactic creaminess. Its rounded and smooth in the mouth, with cedary oak that still needs plenty of time to knit together. The tannins are firm and round and the concentrated fruits have a lovely energy and effortless elegance, with lovely graphite touches and bright, lively acidity. One for the long haul.
Pungent aromas of cassis, blackberry, herbs and grapefruit are pure and unadorned. Juicy and stylish in a European style, conveying an impression of delicacy and terrific penetration. This is sweeter and suppler than the 2015 Nicasia Vineyard Malbec but I'm not sure that it's deeper. Finishes with a powerful spine, strong supporting acidity and terrific length.
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.