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"A rich, focused red, with blueberry and boysenberry flavors supported by firm acidity and muscular tannins. Slate and pepper notes show on the powerful and well-sculpted finish, delivering plenty of savory accents. Drink now through 2022. 300 cases imported. -KM " (WS)
"The 2012 Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino is a blend of grapes from Adrianna (Gualtallary) and Nicasia (Altamira) vineyards in the Uco Valley. The nose made me think of meat broth, vegetable concentrate and other umami-laden foods as it's really tasty. There is something earthy too, and the palate is concentrated yet feels light. Balance, harmony, power and freshness. 11,000 bottles were produced in the 2012 vintage.
Catena might be the most important winery in Argentina, producing both quantity and quality, which is something uncommon. There is a very wide range of wines offered at very different price points, with the entry-level offering very good value and the high-end delivering world-class wines. My favorites come from their famous Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary, the most fashionable appellation at the moment, where they were pioneers. Anything wearing the Catena name is guaranteed to deliver what the label says: grape, vintage and place. Why can't all large producers be like Catena?" (WA)
"(60% from a Gualtallary vineyard planted at 5,000 feet and 40% from the same vineyard as the Nicasia Malbec; these top-of-the-line cuvées are aged in 30% new oak for 18 months, but this one gets larger barrels; includes bits of Viognier and whole-cluster Cabernet Franc): Bright ruby-red. Blackberry, cassis, licorice and violet on the youthfully medicinal but vibrant nose. Very tight and minerally in the early going, with pungent acidity contributing to the impression of inner-mouth floral lift. Strong smoky and saline minerality. Fifty percent of this wine was fermented via carbonic maceration. Tannins are big and firm but one feels the acidity today; the pH is a moderate 3.5. No shortage of sweetness here, but the wine's spine will require patience." (VM)
"Very dense and powerful with a tight palate of blue fruit and raspberry undertones. Salty with wonderful length and intensity. A blend of malbec from Nicasia Vineyard in Altamira and Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary...so great now." (JS)