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Catena Chardonnay Alta 2003

Winemaker's Notes:

100% Chardonnay sourced from the sandy soil of Lot 1 in the Adrianna vineyard. The 2002 growing season saw slightly cooler conditions than 2002, with average temperatures of 18.5° C and night time lows averaging 10.1° C. These cooler conditions meant a slow, gradual close to the ripening process resulting in heightened complexity in the Chardonnay grapes. In addition to ripe pear and apple fruit flavors, notes of honey, fig, citrus and mineral can be found in the aromas and flavors. The excellent natural acidity lends a crisp edge to the finish. This vintage should be enjoyed in 4 to 5 years and will continue to improve over the following 10 years.

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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
Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Coconut Rice Sweet Potato Cheesecake

RiceSelect's creamy Arborio gets blended with sweet potato, coconut milk and vanilla to create this decadent cheesecake. Pairs well with Saunternes; a white dessert wine that has hints of coconut from aging in oak barrels.

View Recipe

External Reviews for Catena Chardonnay Alta

External Review
Source: Shop Wine Direct
01/17/2009

Wine Spectator ReviewFlashy style, with exotic aromas of pineapple and mango that give way to a layered palate of fig, toast and mineral. Long, juicy finish. Drink now through 2007.Wine Tasting NotesThe Catena Alta Chardonnay presents a clear light yellow color with greenish hues. The nose is lively and fresh, with ripe pear aromas along with light notes of vanilla intermingled with touches of citrus and flowers. The mouthfeel offers concentrated apple and fig flavors, with a steely minerality and element of sweet spice. The finish is long and lingering with bright, crisp acidity.



Tasting Notes:

The 2003 Catena Alta Chardonnay presents a light greenish-yellow color. The nose offers ripe apple and pear fruit flavors with light floral notes and hints of spice and toasted bread. The palate shows ripe white stone fruit flavors with citrus tones and a stony, mineral character. The finish in long and complex with refreshing bright, crisp acidity The 2003 Catena Alta Cabernet shows a deep reddish – violet color with purple tones. The wine offers intense aromas of cassis and currant fruit together with hints of eucalyptus, graphite and cigar box. The mouthfeel is full yet with a soft, supple texture, presenting rich concentrated flavors of ripe black fruits, sweet spice and traces of mint and roasted espresso. The finish is long and lingering with well structured tannins and wonderful acidity.

100% Chardonnay sourced from the sandy soil of Lot 1 in the Adrianna vineyard. The 2002 growing season saw slightly cooler conditions than 2002, with average temperatures of 18.5° C and night time lows averaging 10.1° C. These cooler conditions meant a slow, gradual close to the ripening process resulting in heightened complexity in the Chardonnay grapes. In addition to ripe pear and apple fruit flavors, notes of honey, fig, citrus and mineral can be found in the aromas and flavors. The excellent natural acidity lends a crisp edge to the finish. This vintage should be enjoyed in 4 to 5 years and will continue to improve over the following 10 years.

Wine Specs:

Total Acidity: 5.95 grams per liter

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