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During the 1990s, Bodega Catena Zapata set new standards for Argentine wine. In an effort to produce a super-premium wine, the winemaking team of Catena began an in-depth investigation into the yields from specially selected, high-altitude vineyards, identifying the individual lots that produce the best fruit. These vines undergo a careful thinning process, leaving only a select few clusters, resulting in remarkably complex, aromatic, and flavorful fruit.
The founder of Catena Zapata, Dr. Nicolás Catena Zapata, is a legend. In 2022, he received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" by Wine Enthusiast. World-renowned wine critic, Jancis Robinson, says "Nicolás Catena Zapata is justly credited with putting Argentinean wines on the world map—by the best expedient of focusing entirely on quality. It's great to know he has started a wine dynasty, too."
Catena Zapata's winemakers, Laura Catena, and Alejandro Vigil are two of the most emblematic names in the wine industry in Argentina and around the world.
Laura is a big name in the wine industry and one of the most celebrated vintners worldwide. She’s the current director of the family estate Catena Zapata, where she has made impressive improvements in all areas. The Washington Post said "Since Laura Catena took over the leadership of the winery and began to produce wines, Catena wines are increasingly unique and expressive. Catena Zapata wines are currently among the best in the world."
She was named one of the "Top 25 Wine Innovators" by Grape Collective, one of the “World’s Top Women Vintners” by The Oprah Magazine, and was called “the face of Argentinian wine” by Travel and Leisure.
Alejandro Vigil is a master of crafting, as well as a man who likes to push boundaries. He's an anarchistic, revolutionary, and visionary winemaker who has managed to produce some of the best Argentinian wines the world has ever seen; many of his wines have very high accolades, including some 100pt scores.
Catena Alta is an assemblage of historic rows within the Catena family State vineyards. The blend of these historic rows, like the combination of sounds that create a symphony, gives way to highly aromatic and elegant wines that speak for the terroir and vines which have been cared for by the four generations of the Catena family. "Alta" means high in Spanish, this makes reference to the high-altitude vineyards from where the grapes are sourced, and to the high-end wines that are produced with these special grapes.
Aging: 18 months in French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc.
See Critical Review for detailed tasting notes.
This Catena Alta Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the flagships of the winery. With its first versions towards the end of the 90s, and always based on the Catena vineyards in Agrelo, planted in 1982, this Alta has always shown a clear, fruity vision of the variety. While on the other side of the mountain range, in Chile, the traditional cabernet is full of earthy and menthol tones, in Agrelo the theme is fruit, the crystalline expression of the variety that here translates into aromas and flavors of red fruits and herbs. The body has grip, firm tannins, but more than adhering to the palate, its role seems to be that of prince consort, serving as support so that this rich fruity expression is displayed in all its fullness. Leave this wine in the cellar for at least three years. ~95 Descorchados.
A firm, integrated cabernet with attractive plum and chocolate aromas and flavors. Medium body, round tannins and a delicious, flavorful finish. Drink or hold. ~93 James Suckling
There is a faint roasted note in the nose of the 2018 Catena Alta Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc, with more Cabernet Franc in this warmer year (compared with 2019). It has a very classical nose, combining the herbal character of the grape with good ripeness of the year, resulting in a very complete wine, nicely textured and with serious tannins from the variety. 30,000 bottles were produced. It was bottled in October 2019. ~92 Robert Parker.
~91 Tim Atkin, Master of Wine
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