Following several prestigious non-French wines that are released through the Place de Bordeaux, we are delighted to release another, Nicolas Catena Zapata one of the greatest wines of Argentina, which is now following Opus One, Almaviva, Solaia and Masseto in its global distribution. Nicolas Catena Zapata is a rare and brilliant wine that offers stunning value at first tranche release. Today’s release Nicolas Catena Zapata 2015 has been awarded 96 points from James Suckling, who calls it ‘A giant. Not only in Argentina’s strong suit in terms of power…Built on a panoramic scale, but full of energy and enormous refinement. The finish cascades on and on.’ It has been awarded 94 points from Stephen Tanzer of Vinous Media and 93 points from Luis Gutiérrez of The Wine Advocate. After decades of leading the vanguard of Argentinian wines, Nicolas Catena Zapata has solidified its reputation as the best Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend in the world. Today’s release of the 2015 vintage costs £294 per case of six, and despite its rarity and very high scores it remains accessible at £49 a bottle.
As can be seen from the table below today’s first tranche release price is at a 18% discount to last year and a 21% discount to its average trading price. This offers superb value on release, only 6,000 cases are made per year, the global demand creating very attractive vintage premium.
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Nicola Catena and his family immigrated to Argentina at the end of the 19th century and became rich landowners; Nicola planted his first Malbec vineyard in 1902. Nicolas Catena Zapata, Nicola’s grandson, holds a doctorate degree in economics, and in the early eighties left his homeland to become a visiting professor at the Berkeley in California, where he became inspired by Californian wines. On his return he introduced European viticultural techniques to Argentina, including French oak barrels, drip irrigation and low yielding cutting of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay – he then devoted himself to perfecting high altitude vine growing.
The progeny of this innovation was the creation of a breakthrough wine, eponymously named Nicolas Catena Zapata, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and in some vintages Petit Verdot. The wine synthesises Cabernet Sauvignon with Malbec, with a higher preponderance of Cabernet Sauvignon which reflects Nicolas’ love of the grape. The vineyards are found at extraordinary altitude, at an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet, possibly the highest of any Cabernet Sauvignon included in one of the world’s leading wines. The wine spends 26 months in new French oak and it is said has the potential to age and improve for 50 years.
In 2001 Nicolas introduced his now flagship wine Nicolas Catena Zapata to a series of blind tastings in London and in the US. He pitted his wine against First Growths and other leading wines from around the world. Nicolas Catena Zapata came first or second in every tasting. In 2004, following on from this truly remarkable achievement, Nicolas Cantena Zapata became the first Argentinian wine to receive 98 points from Robert Parker.
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