2010 Catena Zapata Chardonnay Catena Alta

Year: 2010
Appellation: Mendoza
Country: Argentina
Wine Spectator: 88
Wine Advocate: 93
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :
$28.95
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"There's good cut to this medium-bodied white, which displays crunchy Honeycrisp apple, pear pastry and melon flavors, leading to a mineral note in the finish. Drink now. 1,800 cases imported." (WS)

"The 2010 Alta Catena Chardonnay includes just a touch of botrytis that Alejandro Vigil believes adds a little complexity. That is evident on the bouquet, which offers wild honey, jasmine, nectarine and crushed stone aromas that are well-defined. The palate has good weight on the entry, with subtle notes of orange zest, dried apricot, quince and shaved ginger. It builds in the mouth, delivering a very focused, intense finish that you could say, sits comfortably between Old World and New. Drink now-2017+

There is no need to introduce Catena Zapata. I visited the winery, which stands like an Egyptian pyramid looking for its sphynx, and spent the entire morning darting from one room to another tasting the entire portfolio of wines from the family. Naturally, it was an honor to meet Nicolas Catena himself, who has been instrumental in Argentina’s progress over the last three decades (see video). But what is pleasing is to find such a famous winery refusing to rest upon its laurels and in fact, through the irrepressible head winemaker Alejandro Vigil, a man who patently contemplates wines 24/7, Catena Zapata are looking forward and asking themselves questions about the style of wines they produce, what ought to be the next stage of their evolution, instead of merely replicating previous successes. Nothing exemplifies that more than the premium wines. Several years ago, it was 100% or even 200% new oak by rote. Nowadays, more consideration towards harmonizing the level of new oak to the fruit and the character of the wine has meant that it has been dialed down to 60%. Speaking to Alejandro, he might reduce it even further, but of course, it should depend upon what is best for the wine. In addition, there has been a revision in their approach to malolactic fermentation, as attested by their Chardonnays, the length of skin maceration (reduced from 30 to around 22 or 23 days) and more experimentation with whole cluster ferments and co-fermenting with white grape varieties. Anything is possible." (WA)