Wine Spectator 91 points - A dark and jammy red, with enough acidity to propel the roasted plum and wild berry compote notes. Layers of smoke, toasted spice and espresso emerge on the rich finish. Drink now through 2016. 90,000 cases imported. –NW (Nov 15 2013)
Smart Buys 100 points - The 2011 Catena Malbec is produced with fruit grown in Lunlunta, Agrelo and Gualtallary fermented together with a little bit of Viognier from high altitude, which according to winemaker Alejandro Vigil had an amazing eight grams of acidity which contributed a lot of freshness to the blend. 30% of bunches fermented without destemming and as is common in the top Catena wines, these grapes from four different regions were harvested at three different points in time in search of diversity. This is very dark cherry-colored and has strong aromas of ripe plums, peach and apricot with some notes of orange rind. Medium-bodied with velvety, silky tannins, it is a good representation of Malbec in Mendoza. It is approachable now, but it should be even better in one year. Drink 2015-2018.
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.
|Wine maker notes
The 2008 Catena Malbec shows a dark violet color with deep bluish-black tones. The nose offers ripe, concentrated dark fruit aromas with delicate floral notes and traces of vanilla and mocha. The mouthfeel is rich and lush, with spices, tobacco and a touch of leather. The finish presents soft, supple tannins with bright, crisp acidity and a flinty minerality that gives the wine exceptional length.
|Over the past 20 years, Nicolás and Laura Catena and their vineyard management team have worked tirelessly in the discovery, identification and development of key microclimates in the high altitude wine country of Mendoza, Argentina. Nicolás Catena has planted an almost countless number of varietals and clones throughout his mountain vineyard sites.
This quest for quality lead Nicolás and Laura Catena to a crucial discovery regarding the influence of altitude on grape cultivation in Mendoza. Observing the important differences in soil types, average temperatures and thermal amplitudes that exist at varying altitudes, he found that vineyard sites which are just a few kilometers apart can have vast differences in altitude and possess remarkably different microclimates.
Over the years, the in depth study of these different microclimates led Nicolás to determine that the same varietal, and even the same clone, presented distinct aromatic and flavor profiles when cultivated in each of these unique microclimates. Implementing the age old art of assemblage, he found that by blending these different lots of the same varietal, he could achieve a more complex wine.