2016 Catena Zapata Malbec Adrianna Vineyard River Stones

Year: 2016
Appellation: Mendoza
Country: Argentina
Wine Advocate: 100
Vinous Media: 94+
James Suckling: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :
$139.95

RARE AS HENS TEETH, I HAD TO BEG FOR THREE BOTTLES!!

"Like the other Malbecs from Adrianna Vineyard, the 2016 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones was bottled a little earlier, and the time in oak was shortened. It was a most unusual year that was cold and rainy and allowed for no irrigation. This has good ripeness and sharp acidity, making it powerful but extremely fresh, with a backbone of acidity that lifts the wine up and makes it extremely long and persistent. In fact, the wine blows me away with an unusual combination of power and elegance; it shows detailed and nuanced, with subtle aromas of violets, spices, tobacco and wet chalk. It has a velvety texture with ultra refined, fine-grained tannins. It is precise in the acidity and on the palate, with the textbook chalky tannins and a sapid, almost salty finish. This is serious, austere, mineral, long, compact, harmonious and concentrated, yet it feels light and has that somewhat contradictory powerful elegance. This has to be the best wine ever produced at Catena. I'd love to have a time machine and taste this wine in 20 years' time... There are some 3,800 bottles of this.

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)

"Saturated bright ruby. Aromas of blackberry, cassis and bitter chocolate are lifted by pungent wild thyme and crushed rock. Densely packed and hugely concentrated but much less expressive today than the 2016 Fortuna Terrae, with powerful chalky minerality giving definition and a sensation of weightlessness to the middle palate. Penetrating acidity (7 grams per liter) contributes to the wine's low-fat impression. Quite dry and youthfully forbidding today, this Malbec finishes with a very firm tannic spine and superb grip." (VM)

"This is a dense and fresh malbec for the vintage. Dark berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, with a licorice and stone undertone. Full-bodied, layered and flavorful. Drink in 2020." (JS)

Winery Notes:
The River Stones sector of Adrianna is planted in the path of a dried river filled with white stones covered with lime - limestone. These stones make for optimal drainage and extreme temperatures because the stones absorb the heat and moderate the nights but also function like ice cubes after a very cold night. Stony soil Malbecs tend to be extremely aromatic, rich and luxurious, just like the River Stones Malbec from Adrianna.

About the Vineyard:
Over the years, Nicolás Catena Zapata discovered the influence altitude has on fruit quality. As one climbs the altitudes of the Andes the average temperature decreases and the amplitude between day and night temperatures increases. Named after Nicolás Catena Zapata’s youngest daughter, the Adrianna Vineyard is located at almost 5,000 feet elevation in Mendoza. The soils in this 1.4 hectare parcel are filled with scattered limestone and marine deposits that covered the region millions of years ago.

Wine Production:
Descriptors: floral, exuberant, lengthy smooth tannins, metallic.