2012 Catena Zapata Malbec Nicasia Vineyard

Year: 2012
Appellation: Mendoza
Country: Argentina
Wine Spectator: 89
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 93+
James Suckling: 95
Wine Enthusiast: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :
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"Well-balanced, fruity and minerally, with red plum, dried berry and brambly flavors, backed by fresh acidity. Notes of slate fill the lively finish. Drink now through 2018. 300 cases imported." (WS)

"The 2012 Malbec Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard feels fresher and more harmonious than the 2011, when in reality the vintage character is the opposite. It is sourced from the vineyard that names the wine and that is located in Altamira. The Malbec grapes fermented in open barrels and cement vats with 15% whole-cluster Cabernet Franc. There is one extra level of precision and harmony here. It has an elegant nose and the palate almost reflects the tension in the skin of the grapes with its a velvety texture and great acidity. This is really tasty and long, it could be the best Nicasia ever produced. 8,000 bottles produced.

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)

"(from 35-year-old vines): Bright ruby-red. Deep aromas of cassis, licorice and menthol lifted by a mineral component. Hugely rich and dense but with a superb balance of sweetness and acidity and a vibrant element of graphite minerality. Very primary but already seamless in texture. Finishes with outstanding length and suave, broad, palate-saturating tannins. Still an infant." (VM)

"Vivid aromas of currants and blackberries. So much dark fruit. Violets too. Full body, yet buttressed with a center palate of salty acidity and firm tannins. From grapes grown in Altamira. Persistent and vibrant. Drink or hold." (JS)

"This is overtly charred and blackened on the nose, as if it were exposed to maximum-toast oak during the aging process; additional aromas of charred beef and herbs add complexity. This feels choppy and tartaric, with blackberry, cassis, bacon and roasted flavors. A toasty, heavily oaked finish suggests that a few more years of aging will be beneficial. Drink through 2023." (WE)