Catena Zapata - Adrianna Vineyard River Stones Malbec 2017

$310.00
Sale price

Regular price $310.00
100 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Incredible aromas of blackberries, hot stones, wet earth and flowers. Full-bodied, it floats across the palate with ultra-fine tannins that melt into the wine. Superb, long finish of subtle fruit and terroir-defined subtleties. Inner quote mark (3/2020)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark One of three Malbecs from the Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary, the 2017 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones was surprisingly fresh for the conditions of the year. They discarded a small plot that was a little too ripe. The wine fermented with full clusters and finished fermenting without skins or stems (like a white), and this was done with 100% of the volume, because in previous years, it was done for maybe 70% of the wine. This helps with the texture and the minerality, a mouthfeel rather than a flavor, reminiscent of the stony soils covered with limestone. This tends to be the most austere of the three bottlings, but it shows a little more fruit; and there is a lot of acidity, but it's nicely coated by the fruit. The result is a beautifully textured Malbec that seems to open up slowly in the glass—the violet and berry aromas get complicated by some spice (curry?), and the palate feels more layered. This is a superb expression of the austere wildness of Gualtallary. (LG) Inner quote mark (10/2019)

The Producer

We at Catena Zapata are dedicated to unlocking the secrets of our land to bring Mendoza’s wines to the rest of the world. In 1902, Nicolás’s grandfather Nicola Catena planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza. Today, the wines of Bodega Catena Zapata are sourced from six historic estate vineyards: Angélica, La Pirámide, Nicasia, Domingo, Adrianna and Angélica Sur.

Nicolás Catena Zapata is the quiet revolutionary in the Catena family history book. He has charted the family’s path to the new frontier of winemaking, drawing on lessons learned from the land and in the classroom, then applying his education to dare to challenge the conventional wisdom.

Nicola Catena, Nicolás Catena Zapata's grandfather, sailed from Italy to Argentina in 1898, leaving behind his famine-stricken European homeland for a land of plenty and opportunity. It is family lore that Nicola, a tireless optimist, celebrated his new life each morning by devouring a piece of virtually raw steak for breakfast. In the gin-clear air and rolling hills of Mendoza, Argentina, he firmly believed he had found the promised land. In 1902, Nicola planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza. Although Malbec had been a blending grape in Bordeaux, Nicola suspected it would find its hidden splendor in the Argentine Andes. It was a hunch that would not fully flower till nearly a century later.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir. 

100 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Incredible aromas of blackberries, hot stones, wet earth and flowers. Full-bodied, it floats across the palate with ultra-fine tannins that melt into the wine. Superb, long finish of subtle fruit and terroir-defined subtleties. Inner quote mark (3/2020)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark One of three Malbecs from the Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary, the 2017 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones was surprisingly fresh for the conditions of the year. They discarded a small plot that was a little too ripe. The wine fermented with full clusters and finished fermenting without skins or stems (like a white), and this was done with 100% of the volume, because in previous years, it was done for maybe 70% of the wine. This helps with the texture and the minerality, a mouthfeel rather than a flavor, reminiscent of the stony soils covered with limestone. This tends to be the most austere of the three bottlings, but it shows a little more fruit; and there is a lot of acidity, but it's nicely coated by the fruit. The result is a beautifully textured Malbec that seems to open up slowly in the glass—the violet and berry aromas get complicated by some spice (curry?), and the palate feels more layered. This is a superb expression of the austere wildness of Gualtallary. (LG) Inner quote mark (10/2019)

The Producer

We at Catena Zapata are dedicated to unlocking the secrets of our land to bring Mendoza’s wines to the rest of the world. In 1902, Nicolás’s grandfather Nicola Catena planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza. Today, the wines of Bodega Catena Zapata are sourced from six historic estate vineyards: Angélica, La Pirámide, Nicasia, Domingo, Adrianna and Angélica Sur.

Nicolás Catena Zapata is the quiet revolutionary in the Catena family history book. He has charted the family’s path to the new frontier of winemaking, drawing on lessons learned from the land and in the classroom, then applying his education to dare to challenge the conventional wisdom.

Nicola Catena, Nicolás Catena Zapata's grandfather, sailed from Italy to Argentina in 1898, leaving behind his famine-stricken European homeland for a land of plenty and opportunity. It is family lore that Nicola, a tireless optimist, celebrated his new life each morning by devouring a piece of virtually raw steak for breakfast. In the gin-clear air and rolling hills of Mendoza, Argentina, he firmly believed he had found the promised land. In 1902, Nicola planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza. Although Malbec had been a blending grape in Bordeaux, Nicola suspected it would find its hidden splendor in the Argentine Andes. It was a hunch that would not fully flower till nearly a century later.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir.