2019 Catena Malbec
Aug 2022 Selection
The 2019 Catena Malbec is a wine made from Malbec grapes grown in the high altitude vineyards of Argentina, known for its deep, dark color and rich, full-bodied flavor profile, with notes of dark fruit, chocolate, and a hint of spice.
Bodega Catena Zapata was founded in 1902 by an Italian immigrant, Nicola Catena, who was convinced that Argentine Malbec could rival any first-growth Bordeaux. It was not till 1994 that this conviction was realized by his grandson, Nicolás Catena Zapata, who produced a Malbec from high-altitude vineyards. It was Nicolás who discovered that the poor soils in the higher elevations of the Andes were ideal for grape vines, with each valley providing a unique flavor profile and aroma to the same varietal. The vines had naturally low yields, with the fruit ripening slowly over the summer, creating wines with great balance, elegance and deliciously soft tannins. Nicolás also developed his own selection of Argentine Malbec cuttings after discovering that the French Malbec cuttings produced wines with rustic aromas and flavors. Nicolás Catena Zapata is recognized in Argentina as having the status of Robert Mondavi in Napa, because of his pioneering work in cultivating high-altitude vineyards and rigorous clonal selection.
Today Nicolás’ daughter Laura, a biologist from Harvard University, carries on her father’s pioneering work. She has been called the “face of Argentine wine” for her active role in promoting the Mendoza wine region and Argentine Malbec.
The Catena Malbec is made from Malbec grapes sourced from three vineyards, at 3,018 feet, 3,593 feet and 4,757 feet above sea level. After the grapes are pressed, the juice goes through 5 days of cold maceration to extract aromas. The juice then ferments for 12 days with a post-fermentation phase of 19-22 days. It then spends 12 months in French-oak barrels.
The resulting wine is dark violet in color, has deep aromas of ripe fruit and a rich concentrated mouthfeel. Robert Parker of Wine Advocate awarded this wine 92 points, saying, “The excellent and floral 2019 Catena Malbec shows the typicity of the grape, violets and red berries, and the freshness of the year. It has the textbook aromas and a soft and velvety mouthfeel, with very fine grainy tannins.”
Enjoy this wine with roasted turkey, salmon, grilled steak or pasta with red sauce.