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Nicolas Catena Zapata



98 points, James Suckling

2019, Nicolas Catena Zapata
Catena Zapata

Exclusive agency or direct allocations

Founded in 1902, Catena Zapata is Argentina’s oldest winery still in the founding family’s hands. The winery architecture is distinguished by its Mayan-inspired pyramid design. It is known for its pioneering role in resurrecting the Malbec grape and in discovering extreme high-altitude terroirs in the Andean foothills of Mendoza. Following in her father Nicolás Catena Zapata’s footsteps, fourth-generation vintner Dr. Laura Catena leads the winery and the revolutionary Catena Institute of Wine.  The institute, founded by Dr. Catena in 1995, collaborates with local and foreign universities and has the ambitious mission of advancing Argentina’s winemaking regions for another 200 years. Its research is published in international journals and shared with the wider Argentine wine community. 

With its inaugural 1997 vintage, Nicolás Catena Zapata became the first luxury cuvée from Argentina to be exported around the world. The wine recreates the “Original Bordeaux Blend” of the 18th and 19th Centuries, when Malbec dominated over Merlot and was in equal standing to Cabernet Sauvignon in the Médoc. Prephylloxeric Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon massale selections of ungrafted vines give rise to this wine, opening a window to the past from the mountain vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina. 

2019 vintage

Laura Catena tells you about this vintage:

Dry weather, small berries and slightly lower yields; cooler temperatures overall. The 2019 harvest happened about 1-3 weeks earlier than usual, and the grapes were in pristine condition with not a drop of botrytis or downy mildew. We were concerned that there would be problems with frost, because of the dry spring, but a constant evening breeze made frosts rare this year. And outside of Agrelo, there were no significant hail storms. 

The tasting notes

The 2019 is the first vintage to have almost similar parts of Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This is a decadent wine that explodes in the mouth with classic Cabernet aromas, dark fruit, chocolate, pencil box and a touch of spice. The Cabernet Franc brings a fruity minerality that makes this wine a standout in any blind tasting. On the palate it is all structure and velvet, combining the best of the cool climate Cabernets and the silky Malbec.

Alc : 14%
Blend :
• 42% - Cabernet Sauvignon
• 30% - Malbec
• 28% - Cabernet Franc

4 Available for 750ml
Special Releases Sept Releases

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The Producer

"Great wines begin in the vineyard. Our vision is to make rich and unforgettable wines that are true to the special place they come from. The story of Catena is the story of Argentine wine.

Founded in 1902, Argentina’s Bodega Catena Zapata is known for its pioneering role in resurrecting Malbec and in discovering extreme high altitude terroirs in the Andean foothills of Men... read more

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Catena Zapata
Special Releases
Sept Releases