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Chardonnay Mendoza Catena Alta Luca Vineyard 1997

Winemaker's Notes:

The grapes for Catena Alta Chardonnay come from a select block of Adrianna vineyard, Catena's premier Chardonnay vineyard. At 1,500m (5,000') elevation, the Adrianna vineyard experiences an even greater thermal amplitude than the La Pirámide vineyard, with very cool nights during ripining. The Catena Alta block has historically provided the most balanced and uniform yields. These carefully chosen vines undergo a detailed thinning process aimed at leaving only select, isolated clusters. Picked in the cool, early morning hours, the grapes for Catena Alta Chardonnay are whole cluster pressed. The juice is all barrel fermented, and the wine spends a total of 14 months in 100% new François Fréres French oak. The result is a wine full of fresh fruit, with the added nuances of malolactic and oak flavors. The 1997 Catena Alta Chardonnay has a bright, clean golden yellow color with green highlights. The nose is intense and complex, with grapefruit, apricot, and pear aromas laced with honey and toast. The wine is soft and round on the palate, with great harmony and equilibrium between the rich fruit and the light notes of vanilla and spice. Catena Alta Chardonnay will only be made in exceptional vintage years. No Catena Alta Chardonnay 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 Chardonnay come from a select block of Adrianna vineyard, Catena's premier Chardonnay vineyard. At 1,500m (5,000') elevation, the Adrianna vineyard experiences an even greater thermal amplitude than the La Pirámide vineyard, with very cool nights during ripining. The Catena Alta block has historically provided the most balanced and uniform yields. These carefully chosen vines undergo a detailed thinning process aimed at leaving only select, isolated clusters. Picked in the cool, early morning hours, the grapes for Catena Alta Chardonnay are whole cluster pressed. The juice is all barrel fermented, and the wine spends a total of 14 months in 100% new François Fréres French oak. The result is a wine full of fresh fruit, with the added nuances of malolactic and oak flavors. The 1997 Catena Alta Chardonnay has a bright, clean golden yellow color with green highlights. The nose is intense and complex, with grapefruit, apricot, and pear aromas laced with honey and toast. The wine is soft and round on the palate, with great harmony and equilibrium between the rich fruit and the light notes of vanilla and spice. Catena Alta Chardonnay will only be made in exceptional vintage years. No Catena Alta Chardonnay was made in 1998. José Galante, Winemaker

Wine Specs:

Total Acidity: 5.5 grams per liter

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