2016 Catena Zapata Malbec Catena Alta Historic Rows

Year: 2016
Appellation: Mendoza
Country: Argentina
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 90
James Suckling: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
Price :
$34.95
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"I also had the chance to taste the 2016 Catena Alta Malbec, when they used a higher percentage of grapes from Nicasia. In this vintage, it's truly 100% Malbec that fermented in tank with full clusters and finished fermenting after pressing, without skins. It's serious and elegant, with the year's signature freshness. 2016 has really marked the wines with great freshness. This is serious and with zero sweetness, complete and direct. 42,000 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. Lively black fruit aromas are accented by pepper and violet notes. In a juicier, leaner style than the 2015 version but still a seamless wine, offering noteworthy intensity and purity and a sexy touch of sweetness to its flavors of black fruits, bitter chocolate and violet. This wine currently shows less dimension than the 2015 version but it still needs another year or two in bottle to expand. Finishes with a light dusting of tannins and lingering notes of violet and chocolate." (VM)

"Plenty of cocoa powder as well as violets follow through to some serious tannins that are already well integrated. They and the crisp acidity give the dry finish some assertive power. Drink or hold." (JS)