Catena Zapata - Malbec Argentino 2019

$180.00
Sale price

Regular price $180.00

WINE DESCRIPTION

No matter what the vintage, this wine is really more than 100 years old. It represents a family's journey to produce an Argentine Malbec that can stand with the great wines of the world.

VINIFICATION

20% whole cluster and 80% whole berry fruit is hand-loaded into 225-500 liter new French oak barrels for a 100% barrel fermentation for a period of 28 days, allowing seamless oak integration. The fermentation temperature is kept low, extracting intense aromas, and the cap management is done by hand to ensure soft, gentle flavors and tannin extraction. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel leaves considerable lees and sediment. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.

VINEYARDS

Old Vines from the Catena Zapata Family Vineyards, Nicasia and Angélica. The origins of the vines, which we call “The Catena Cuttings”, is a prephyloxeric Massale Selection from the Angélica Vineyard.

Harvest time varies depending on each lot's soil composition. Harvest time can vary by several weeks between one lot and another within the same vineyard.

  • Nicasia Vineyard: Named after Nicolás Catena Zapata’s grandmother.
  • Shallow loamy soil. Gravel on surface and topsoil.
  • Location: La Consulta District, San Carlos Region, Mendoza, Argentina.
  • Altitude: 3,593 ft (1,095 m) elevation.
  • Planted in 1996 (20 years old vineyard).
  • Angélica Vineyard: Named after Nicolás Catena Zapata’s mother.
  • Soil: Adjacent to dry river bed. Light gravel, loam and clay.
  • Location: Lunlunta District, Maipú Region, Mendoza, Argentina.
  • Altitude: 3,018 ft (920 m) elevation.
  • Planted in: Circa 1930 (90 years old vineyard)

 The Producer

"Nicolás Catena Zapata is justly credited with putting Argentinean wines on the world map—by the best expedient of focusing entirely on quality. It's great to know he has started a wine dynasty, too."

Jancis Robinson, Financial Times wine journalist

"Nicolás Catena Zapata is a man of vision, of high intellect, always curious about others and about how the world is developing. He has been instrumental in changing the Argentinian wine scene more than anybody else, pushing it towards high quality."
Baron Eric de Rothschild, Château Lafite

When the Catenas decided to experiment with a new terroir at high altitude, they entered a world dominated by the long-held French theory that quality depends mostly on terroir. According to the French, the human factor—whether the winemaker or the vineyard manager—is inconsequential. Quality only depends on nature, climate, and the type of soil where the vineyard is planted. There is nothing that the winemaker can do if the quality does not come from the place where the vineyard is located: the terroir.

In trying to implement this French theory in Argentina several years ago, the Catenas made a startling discovery: The alluvial soils from Mendoza are not homogenous. In other words, in the same vineyard, within short distances, there are both physical and chemical soil differences, resulting in vineyard lots or parcelas with unique characteristics. As a result, each vineyard lot gives origin to its own unique wine with very specific flavors and aromas. This discovery prompted the family to drill down even deeper into the theory of terroir.

laura catena

Dr. Laura Catena, a biologist who graduated with honors from Harvard University, decided to instill in the winery team the method of research and study, what she calls "the science of understanding nature."

With the help of Catena's Head Winemaker Alejandro Vigil, Fernando Buscema, Catena Institute of Wine Director, and Vineyard Manager Luis Reginato, Laura created the Catena Institute of Wine. Since then, the Catenas have conducted strong research aimed at getting a better understanding of the Argentine terroir, the characteristics of Mendoza, and to study every aspect of their vineyards with the ultimate goal of making Argentine wines that can stand with the best of the world. The Catena's first successful project using research as a guide was with Chardonnay.

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. 

WINE DESCRIPTION

No matter what the vintage, this wine is really more than 100 years old. It represents a family's journey to produce an Argentine Malbec that can stand with the great wines of the world.

VINIFICATION

20% whole cluster and 80% whole berry fruit is hand-loaded into 225-500 liter new French oak barrels for a 100% barrel fermentation for a period of 28 days, allowing seamless oak integration. The fermentation temperature is kept low, extracting intense aromas, and the cap management is done by hand to ensure soft, gentle flavors and tannin extraction. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel leaves considerable lees and sediment. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.

VINEYARDS

Old Vines from the Catena Zapata Family Vineyards, Nicasia and Angélica. The origins of the vines, which we call “The Catena Cuttings”, is a prephyloxeric Massale Selection from the Angélica Vineyard.

Harvest time varies depending on each lot's soil composition. Harvest time can vary by several weeks between one lot and another within the same vineyard.

  • Nicasia Vineyard: Named after Nicolás Catena Zapata’s grandmother.
  • Shallow loamy soil. Gravel on surface and topsoil.
  • Location: La Consulta District, San Carlos Region, Mendoza, Argentina.
  • Altitude: 3,593 ft (1,095 m) elevation.
  • Planted in 1996 (20 years old vineyard).
  • Angélica Vineyard: Named after Nicolás Catena Zapata’s mother.
  • Soil: Adjacent to dry river bed. Light gravel, loam and clay.
  • Location: Lunlunta District, Maipú Region, Mendoza, Argentina.
  • Altitude: 3,018 ft (920 m) elevation.
  • Planted in: Circa 1930 (90 years old vineyard)

 The Producer

"Nicolás Catena Zapata is justly credited with putting Argentinean wines on the world map—by the best expedient of focusing entirely on quality. It's great to know he has started a wine dynasty, too."

Jancis Robinson, Financial Times wine journalist

"Nicolás Catena Zapata is a man of vision, of high intellect, always curious about others and about how the world is developing. He has been instrumental in changing the Argentinian wine scene more than anybody else, pushing it towards high quality."
Baron Eric de Rothschild, Château Lafite

When the Catenas decided to experiment with a new terroir at high altitude, they entered a world dominated by the long-held French theory that quality depends mostly on terroir. According to the French, the human factor—whether the winemaker or the vineyard manager—is inconsequential. Quality only depends on nature, climate, and the type of soil where the vineyard is planted. There is nothing that the winemaker can do if the quality does not come from the place where the vineyard is located: the terroir.

In trying to implement this French theory in Argentina several years ago, the Catenas made a startling discovery: The alluvial soils from Mendoza are not homogenous. In other words, in the same vineyard, within short distances, there are both physical and chemical soil differences, resulting in vineyard lots or parcelas with unique characteristics. As a result, each vineyard lot gives origin to its own unique wine with very specific flavors and aromas. This discovery prompted the family to drill down even deeper into the theory of terroir.

laura catena

Dr. Laura Catena, a biologist who graduated with honors from Harvard University, decided to instill in the winery team the method of research and study, what she calls "the science of understanding nature."

With the help of Catena's Head Winemaker Alejandro Vigil, Fernando Buscema, Catena Institute of Wine Director, and Vineyard Manager Luis Reginato, Laura created the Catena Institute of Wine. Since then, the Catenas have conducted strong research aimed at getting a better understanding of the Argentine terroir, the characteristics of Mendoza, and to study every aspect of their vineyards with the ultimate goal of making Argentine wines that can stand with the best of the world. The Catena's first successful project using research as a guide was with Chardonnay.

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.