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 2017 Cantena Alta Chardonnay comes from the same vineyard as the Zepata 'White Bones' Chardonnay which sells for $130 a bottle! While the Alta may not share the same price tag as the White Bones chard the quality of winemaking shines through with every sip!
"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." ~Jancis Robinson
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.
Through the application of natural techniques, these grapes are transformed into Catena Alta. The Catena Alta Chardonnay is produced from two of the Catena family vineyards - Adrianna, at almost 5,000 feet elevation, and Domingo, at 3,700 feet elevation. The Adrianna vineyard's pebble covered soil and cool climate are ideal for growing Chardonnay. The fruit from Adrianna has a purity of flavors and a minerality that is particular to this vineyard and cannot be found anywhere else in Mendoza. Meanwhile, the sandy loam soils of the Domingo vineyard contribute white stone fruit and good acid balance. This Chardonnay is 100% barrel fermented in French oak with aggressive battonage. Dijon Clonal Selection.
None of this is any surprise to Greg Martellotto, Bighammerwines.com owner and founder. Read his insights from Mendoza and the importance of Uco Valley as the epicenter for the best wines from the region here.
Aging: 14 months in 45% new French Oak
Tasting Notes: White Wine. 100% Chardonnay. The Catena Alta Chardonnay presents an intense greenish-yellow color. 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
I love the pear, licorice, and vanilla aromas. Clarity and elegance. The finish lingers long and gently pulls you back for more. ~92 James Suckling
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