2015 Catena Zapata Cabernet Sauvignon Catena Alta Historic Rows

Year: 2015
Appellation: Mendoza
Country: Argentina
Wine Spectator: 89
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 92
James Suckling: 93
Jeb Dunnuck: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 89
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
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"Firm and fleshy, with an engaging minerality to the dried red fruit and berry flavors. Cocoa powder detail lingers on the sanguine finish. Drink now through 2021. 1,500 cases imported. -KM" (WS)

"As always, the 2015 Catena Alta Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of different plots in order to achieve greater complexity. It usually comes from the La Pirámide, Domingo and Nicasia vineyards, with approximately 50% of the grapes from Luján and the other half from Valle de Uco. It contains some 5% Cabernet Franc. It fermented in 500-liter French oak barrels and aged in 225- and 500-liter oak barrels for 18 months. It's super varietal, with powerful herbal and spicy aromatics, serious and without a trace of heat. It has an elegant and fresh palate with bright, vibrant flavors and great length. I consider this a real triumph, as 2015 was very challenging for Cabernet, especially in Luján, where they avoided harvesting earlier. 18,000 bottles produced.

I tasted a very large collection of wines from Catena Zapata. All of these wines are highly recommendable, but the wines from the Adrianna Vineyard range are truly gobsmacking good and world class. I had the chance to taste slowly through three vintages of the three reds and two of the whites, and it made a fascinating comparison. The profile is austere and mineral, and sometimes they take time to open up. They are, of course, very young wines destined for a long life in bottle. The quality is extremely high, and it's a matter of preference as to which plot or vintage style you like best. 2014 is austere and a bit herbal, 2015 showed a little riper and 2016 seems to be the most complete of the three, with super sharp, linear whites and austere reds for the long haul. The 2014s were released a while ago, the 2015s are arriving on the market right now and the 2016s will take about one more year to hit the shelves. I'm talking reds, as the whites should be released by December 2018.

Just as I saw last time, the Appellation range is clearly the sweet spot, especially in 2016, when the wines clearly overdeliver. And it is impressive how the character of each wine is maintained and identifiable in every vintage." (WA)

"Bright medium ruby. In-your-face Cabernet aromas of redcurrant, plum, tobacco leaf and mocha. Suave, fine-grained and subtly penetrating, with a thickness of texture leavened by perfectly integrated acidity. Finishes with terrific building length and serious but harmonious tannins that spread out to saturate the front teeth. At once subtle and stuffed with material, this Cabernet boasts a lovely balance of sweet fruit, acidity and tannins." (VM)

"Quite an exotic nose with a hint of passion fruit alongside the more familiar cassis, red bell pepper and chocolate notes. Rich with plush tannins and a healthy acidity. An impressive cabernet that’s also easy to enjoy. Drink or hold." (JS)

"While I wasn’t able to taste the 2016, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Catena Alta Historic Rows showed beautifully, with plenty of cassis and black cherry fruits, notes of leafy herbs, damp earth, and cedar, medium to full body, and silky, polished tannins. I love its balance and purity, and while it’s certainly delicious today, I suspect it will cruise for 10-15 years on its balance and overall harmony." (JD)

"Stalky berry and plum aromas come with a rugged scent of burning brush prior to a palate that's sinewy and acidic more than filled out and fruity. Leafy herbal flavors of red plum and red currant are fresh, racy and taut on a reserved finish. At only 13.5% ABV, this is a much lighter version of Alta than in the past." (WE)

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