The Catena family’s vision has been to uncover those magical places in each of the family’s vineyards that offer the purest expression of the land. Farming these special lots manually, hand-tending each of the vines, has led to the identification of individual plants which consistently produce the most exceptional fruit. These Zapata vines have been physically marked with a red sash, ensuring the most demanding attention to detail in their care. Harvested separately in multiple passes through the vineyard, the grapes are then loaded by hand into French oak barrels for a long, cool fermentation with cap management being done by hand. Over 200 separate micro-fermentations are done, separated by different lots and harvest times. The inaugural 1997 vintage of this Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend set a new standard of quality for wines from South America when it won a series of blind tasting against First Growth Bordeaux and other prestigious cuvées from around the world.
Nicolás Catena Zapata has an intense, deep purple color with bluish-black tones. On the nose, aromas of black fruits – blackberries, black cherries, black plums – predominate with subtle notes of vanilla and dark chocolate intermingled with savory hints of green olive and a stony minerality. On the palate, the wine is tremendously complex, unfolding layer upon layer of red currant, eucalyptus, and black pepper flavors. Black cherries and blackberries give way to cassis followed by a hint of saline minerality. The wine is remarkably concentrated with a firm tannic structure providing the backbone for the lush fruit. The finish is long, a foretoken of the long aging potential of this Argentine masterpiece.
Let the Nicolás Catena Zapata open in a decanter while you grill a Bone-in Ribeye Steak to perfection. Pour yourself a glass. Bliss.
This has a complex nose of baked blackberries, grilled plums, dried earth, moss, pine cones, sandalwood, charcoal and cloves. It’s medium-bodied with firm, tightly knit tannins. Wow. So much going on. Layered, seamless and silky. Incredible length. Keeps going. 42% cabernet sauvignon, 30% malbec and 28% cabernet franc. Try this from 2024.