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  • SN: 91

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Catena Alta Chardonnay 2010

Winemaker's Notes:

For over four generations, the Catena family has grown vines in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina. Laura Catena, great-granddaughter of winery founder Nicola Catena, has created a richly textured Chardonnay blend with floral notes, ripe tropical-fruit flavors, a strong mineral character and excellent acidity. Catena Chardonnay is sourced from the family´s vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo and Tupungato. From the marriage of these historic parcels emerges a wine of a unique character that has natural balance, concentration and a distinct varietal identity.

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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

Editorial Reviews for Catena Alta Chardonnay

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065221,289
4.50 5
11/15/2013

Pretty oaky and creamy on the nose with hints of heather and almonds supporting ripe green apple and almost melonny/pumpkin like fruit. Big, rich and a bit buttery though with plenty of supporting acid. This is a rather flamboyant wine, full of toasty oak spice and vanilla flavors that work well with the honeydew melon and green apple fruit on the palate. The wood takes over on the finish which is a bit short if refreshing. A big, rich Chardonnay with fine underlying tension. 91pts


Member Reviews for Catena Alta Chardonnay

Add your review
Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065221,289
4.60 5
11/15/2013

Four and a half glasses


Snooth User: Argovino
1278402711
4.00 5
04/29/2013

A finely structured wine, if not generous. The dark honey color is certainly appealing, as is the mix of floral and toasted flavors conveyed to both nose and mouth (where they are joined by touches of anise), but the overall character is still rather austere. (AV 88, http://argovino.com/?p=893)


External Reviews for Catena Alta Chardonnay

External Review
Source: The Wine Buyer
10/20/2012

The nose offers ripe white fruit aromas such as pears and peaches that are interwoven with delicate citrus and floral notes, such as jasmine. The palate shows rich and concentrated ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of minerality. The wine finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
11/14/2013

There s good cut to this medium-bodied white which displays crunchy Honeycrisp apple pear pastry and melon flavors leading to a mineral note in the finish. Drink now. NW Wine Spectator.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
06/20/2014

There s good cut to this medium-bodied white which displays crunchy Honeycrisp apple pear pastry and melon flavors leading to a mineral note in the finish. Drink now.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
06/20/2014

Bright medium yellow. Subtle stone fruits and brown spices along with a carnal truffley nuance on the perfumed very ripe nose. Juicy suave and fresh in the mouth showing a more unctuous texture than the regular 2011 chardonnay but with plenty of framing energy. The peach and ginger flavors display excellent depth. Finishes dry and stony with insistent minerality and a dusty talc-like texture. Under winemaker Alejandro Vigil Catena is now picking chardonnay as much as two or three weeks


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
08/22/2013

There s good cut to this medium-bodied white which displays crunchy Honeycrisp apple pear pastry and melon flavors leading to a mineral note in the finish. Drink now. - NW Wine Spectator. Pale golden in color with a nose that is fairly rich and c... Wine Spectator A Chardonnay wine from Mendoza in Argentina. 2010 2010 Catena Zapata Bodegas Catena Alta Chardonnay Chardonnay 750ml


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
06/20/2014

Pale golden in color with a nose that is fairly rich and complex. Tropical fruits honey lemon and spice are repeated from bouquet to palate of this special selection chardonnay. Incredibly buoyant and light on its feet for 45% new oak this well balanced and flavorful offering is an incredible value and great alternative to many mid-level Cali chard. Tracey Rose.



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Tasting Notes:

The Catena Chardonnay 2010 combines expressions of the High altitude vineyards. Adrianna vineyard, the highest one, gives flowers notes and a strong minerality. The Domingo vineyard provides dry fruits and a crisp finish. Finally, La Piramide Vineyard contributes honeyed tropical fruit flavors with an oily mouthfeel. This chardonnay presents a yellow greenish color with aromas of ripe pears, citrus, vanilla and mineral notes. On the palate, it is a clean fresh wine with crisp acidity.

For over four generations, the Catena family has grown vines in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina. Laura Catena, great-granddaughter of winery founder Nicola Catena, has created a richly textured Chardonnay blend with floral notes, ripe tropical-fruit flavors, a strong mineral character and excellent acidity. Catena Chardonnay is sourced from the family´s vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo and Tupungato. From the marriage of these historic parcels emerges a wine of a unique character that has natural balance, concentration and a distinct varietal identity.

Wine Specs:

Sugar: 5.8 grams per liter Total Acidity: 6.25 grams per liter

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