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Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Alta Angelica Vineyard 1996

Winemaker's Notes:

The grapes for Catena Alta Malbec come from a select block of Catena's more than 60 year old Angélica vineyard. Named after Nicolás Catena's mother, the Angélica vineyard is Catena's premier Malbec vineyard. The soil and climate of the Angélica vineyard are ideal for growing Malbec. Clay soils with a rocky sub-soil allow for excellent drainage, and the continental climate of warm days followed by cool nights allows for even ripening and a prolonged hang-time. The vines destined for Catena Alta Malbec undergo a detailed thinning process aimed at leaving only select, isolated clusters. Harvest generally occurs in the later half of March, and the decision to pick is based not on numbers, but on tasting for fruit maturity. The grapes are harvested by hand into small (800kg) containers. After destemming, the fruit undergoes a cold maceration of fine days, out of a total of 35 days. Fermentation takes place between 30 and 32 degrees centigrade with a light pumping over to saturate only the caps. The new wine is then aged for 12 months in 100% new French oak from Taransaud. The 1996 Catena Alta Malbec has a dark violet color with bright purple tones. It has a complex nose of black currant and plum fruit with notes of sweet spice, tobacco and toast. Full-bodied, yet presenting a soft, silky texture, the 1996 Catena Alta Malbec offers a long, persistent finish dominated by ripe, velvety tannins. Catena Alta Malbec will only be made in exceptional vintage years. No Catena Alta Malbec was made in 1998. José Galante, Winemaker

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Bodega Catena Zapata:
Blending different varietals, different lots and even different vintages is an art as old as winemaking itself. In Bordeaux, the blending of the famous five - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec - is a centuries old art. Each component is thought to add a level of complexity to the wine. Over the past 20 years, Nicolás and Laura Catena and their vineyar... Read more
Blending different varietals, different lots and even different vintages is an art as old as winemaking itself. In Bordeaux, the blending of the famous five - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec - is a centuries old art. Each component is thought to add a level of complexity to the wine. Over the past 20 years, Nicolás and Laura Catena and their vineyard management team have worked tirelessly in the discovery, identification and development of key microclimates in the high altitude wine country of Mendoza, Argentina. Nicolás Catena has planted an almost countless number of varietals and clones throughout his mountain vineyard sites. This quest for quality lead Nicolás and Laura Catena to a crucial discovery regarding the influence of altitude on grape cultivation in Mendoza. Observing the important differences in soil types, average temperatures and thermal amplitudes that exist at varying altitudes, he found that vineyard sites which are just a few kilometers apart can have vast differences in altitude and possess remarkably different microclimates. Over the years, the in depth study of these different microclimates led Nicolás to determine that the same varietal, and even the same clone, presented distinct aromatic and flavor profiles when cultivated in each of these unique microclimates. Implementing the age old art of assemblage, he found that by blending these different lots of the same varietal, he could achieve a more complex wine. As great artists tap their creative spirit to mix and match colors in the production of magnificent works of art, this wide array of distinct lot selections allows the winemaking team at Bodega Catena Zapata to engage in a creative, intricate process of blending in order to craft the final wine. Starting with the 2001 vintage, our Catena and Catena Alta wines will reflect this new winemaking philosophy. They will be a blend of different microclimates and will carry the Mendoza appellation instead of a specific vineyard designation. The only exception will be the Catena Alta Chardonnay. We believe that at 4,830 feet, the Adrianna Vineyard is today the best site for growing Chardonnay in Mendoza. To some, this change may sound counter-intuitive. Vineyard designated wines are often thought of as being of a higher rank. But in Mendoza, as in Bordeaux, we are convinced that this art of assemblage will bring you a much more delicious wine. In order to further highlight this revolutionary concept of single varietal, microclimate blending, beginning with the 2002 vintage we will bottle 5 different single vineyard Malbecs. These bottlings will highlight the differences between the various microclimates and terroirs of Mendoza's high altitude wine country. Read less

The grapes for Catena Alta Malbec come from a select block of Catena's more than 60 year old Angélica vineyard. Named after Nicolás Catena's mother, the Angélica vineyard is Catena's premier Malbec vineyard. The soil and climate of the Angélica vineyard are ideal for growing Malbec. Clay soils with a rocky sub-soil allow for excellent drainage, and the continental climate of warm days followed by cool nights allows for even ripening and a prolonged hang-time. The vines destined for Catena Alta Malbec undergo a detailed thinning process aimed at leaving only select, isolated clusters. Harvest generally occurs in the later half of March, and the decision to pick is based not on numbers, but on tasting for fruit maturity. The grapes are harvested by hand into small (800kg) containers. After destemming, the fruit undergoes a cold maceration of fine days, out of a total of 35 days. Fermentation takes place between 30 and 32 degrees centigrade with a light pumping over to saturate only the caps. The new wine is then aged for 12 months in 100% new French oak from Taransaud. The 1996 Catena Alta Malbec has a dark violet color with bright purple tones. It has a complex nose of black currant and plum fruit with notes of sweet spice, tobacco and toast. Full-bodied, yet presenting a soft, silky texture, the 1996 Catena Alta Malbec offers a long, persistent finish dominated by ripe, velvety tannins. Catena Alta Malbec will only be made in exceptional vintage years. No Catena Alta Malbec was made in 1998. José Galante, Winemaker

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Wine Specs:

Total Acidity: 6.02 grams per liter

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