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Professional Ratings: 96 Wine Spectator, 95 The Wine Advocate, 94 Wine Enthusiast, 93 International Wine Cellar, 92 Wine & Spirits
Region: Argentina, South America
Other Info: Boutique Wines, Collectible Wines
Style: Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume: 13.5%
Item no. 108380
The Catena Zapata Malbec Nicasia Vineyard is one of the three top-tier Malbecs first released by the winery in 2007. The wine exemplifies Nicolas Catena's success and pioneering research with the Malbec grape in Mendoza. The Nicasia Vineyard, named after Nicolas Catena's grandmother, is a small, specially selected number of rows in Lot 1 of the Catena family's Altamira Vineyard. Planted in 1996, the Malbec vines are on their own rootstock and part of a massal population from the Catena family's historic, 80-year-old Angelica vineyard.
This shows how powerful Argentine Malbec can be, with a torrent of blackberry, boysenberry and bittersweet ganache notes. But there's exceptional drive and focus here as well, with a great graphite spine driving through the spice- and floral-infused finish. A stunner for its combination of power and precision, and the best wine yet from this winery. Best from 2011 through 2016.
The single vineyard Malbecs begin with the 2007 Nicasia Vineyard Malbec. It was barrel-fermented and aged for 18 months in 100% new oak including a racking into a second set of new barrels (the so-called “200% new oak” treatment). A glass-coating opaque purple/black in color, it offers up a splendid nose of toasty new oak, earth notes, exotic spices, black cherry and black raspberry. This is followed by a plush, layered, intensely flavored wine with potential complexity, precision balance, and a seamless finish. Give it 4-6 years of cellaring and drink it through 2027, probably longer, these wines have no track record of longevity.
Among Catena's high-end wines from 2007, Nicasia is the top performer. It shows alluring aromas of smoky oak, wild flowers and pure berry fruits. The Palate is a blend of smoothness, grainy tannins and fine acidity, while the flavors of berries, chocolate and cola are layered just right. Still, the pacesetter for high-end Argentine Malbec; drink now through 2015.
from a vineyard planted at 3,870 feet) Full ruby. Slightly medicinal aromas of licorice pastille, mint, bitter chocolate and espresso. Lush, fat and thick, but the wine's almost confectionery sweetness is leavened by high-altitude verve. Impressively concentrated blackberry and bitter chocolate flavors saturate the entire palate. This already drinkable wine finishes with suave tannins and outstanding persistence.
Argentino is a blend of Catena’s three principal malbec vineyards: Adrianna, Nicasia and Angélica. In this warm vintage the aromas and flavors recall sweet blackberries; it’s framed by a powerful structure, the tannins as sinewy as the muscles of a long-distance runner. Wait two or three years for this wine to gain in complexity, or drink it now with roast wild boar.