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At heart, Catena is a story about family. Family who poured their lives, passion and spirit into transforming scrub-laden desert into some of the most beautiful and unique vineyards in the world. Family that passed their knowledge from generation to generation, blending collective memory with state-of-the-art science from the new world of viticulture. Family who, through risk-taking, faith and a little luck, transformed their treasured Mendoza terroir into the fountainhead of the award-winning...
The Catena Malbec presents a dark, violet color with deep black tones. This microclimate blend of four unique vineyard sites offers intense aromas with a soft generous texture and concentrated flavors. Angelica vineyard lends ripe plum and chocolate flavors with a very soft, supple mouthfeel. La Consulta vineyard brings a core of black currant and cassis, with excellent structure and length. La Piramide vineyard offers blackberry fruit with a slight earthy tone and notes of spicy black pepper. Finally, the Adrianna vineyard lends exceptional concentration with explosive floral aromatics. Together they give birth to a complex blend of aromas and flavors - a wine with excellent concentration, balance and freshness.
This wine goes through an extensive cold maceration for 8-10 days at 45°F to extract aromas. The juice is then fermented for 14 days with a post-fermentation maceration of 16 days to extract flavors and structure; malolactic fermentation happens in barrel; the wine is aged for 14 months in 70% French oak (35% new) and 30% American oak.
The Catena family has conducted extensive research into the soils and microclimates of Mendoza's high altitude wine country in the foothills of the Andes mountains. At different altitudes, the family’s Malbec vineyards express a unique profile of aromas and flavors: the ripe plum fruit flavors and silky texture of the Angelica vineyard (2,850’ elevation); the dark fruit character and pepper notes of the La Pirámide vineyard (3,100’ elevation); the black cherry aromas and excellent structure of the Altamira vineyard (3,870’ elevation); the explosive floral aromatics full, concentrated mouthfeel of the Adrianna vineyard (5,000’). The blend of these components creates a wine of unique character that has balance, concentration and a strong varietal identity.
- 91 Points -
Luis Gutierrez, August 2015
As I saw with the Cabernet, the 2013 Catena Malbec also feels fresher than the 2012. It is produced with fruit from Valle de Uco and some 20% from the Luján de Cuyo zone that fermented in a mixture of cement and stainless steel, and partly matured in barrels for some 10 months. The nose is full of violets and black cherries, and is quite perfumed. The palate has lively acidity that makes it extremely fresh, long, pleasant and easy to drink, and it cleanses your palate with the mineral-driven finish. A textbook Malbec to buy by the case. Drink or keep. This has to be one of the best vintages of this popular Malbec. The production figures are mind-boggling, as there are over one million bottles of this wine, so it should be quite easy to find.
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?