“… The results are breath-taking. Purple in the glass with garnet flecks, this wine delivers layers of aroma, beginning with black currant and moving on to intense, precise notes of lavender and mint along with hints of black tea, sage and cigar box. In the mouth, austerity vies for supremacy with sheer power, a balance overseen by polished, grippy tannins placed into relief by a well-judged freshness that keeps the whole package light on its feet. This is a wine of tension foregrounded by the blend: the Malbec smooths out the Cabernet Sauvignon, which in turn brings energy to a red with an extremely long finish.” 96 points, Joaquín Hidalgo, www.vinous.com
2018 Catena Zapata, Nicolas Catena Zapata, Mendoza 6x75cl
£325 / Case£54.17 / BottleDuty Status: In BondAvailability: En Primeur
Strikingly different from the 2016 of the same wine tasted alongside. Darker, cloves, more spice, more power. Bay leaf. Wood bark and meat. A trace of cooked mulberry, dried woodland fruit, biltong. The structure of the wine feels marble-stone rectangular, Pantheonic in its power and geometric, foursquare, foundational magnificence and impressiveness. The kind of wine that has me looking up, and up, in awe. Their notes say the ideal drinking window is 2040 to 2048, but without that kind of ageing reference point, I’m going to be much more conservative in my estimate. (TC) [20/01/2022]
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2034
Robert Parker 96
The 2018 Nicolás Catena Zapata was produced with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon from Gualtallary (Adrianna vineyard, with the Cabernet Sauvignon interplanted with some Cabernet Franc) and 35% Malbec from Altamira (Nicasia vineyard). They no longer use grapes from Agrelo, and this is also a lot higher in Malbec than in other recent vintages. So, it has a very different profile, a change that started in 2017, with more contained ripeness and more freshness, and the wine is intense, keeping some of the Cabernet character (tobacco, blackberries) and the floral notes from Malbec. It comes through as balanced and harmonious, with very fine tannins and a long finish and perfect ripeness. This aims to revive the style of Bordeaux before phylloxera, from massal selection of ungrafted vines… 62,400 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2019. [Luis Gutiérrez, 31/03/2021]
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2028
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