Nicolas Catena Zapata has been at the forefront of the vanguard of Argentinean Malbec, his pioneering vision has elevated the region’s wines worldwide. In 2001 Nicolas introduced Catena Zapata to a series of blind tastings in London and in the US. He pitted his wine against First Growths and many of the world’s other leading wines and Catena Zapata came first or second in every tasting. In 2004, following on from this truly remarkable achievement, Catena Zapata became the first Argentinian wine to receive 98 points from Robert Parker: Catena Zapata is considered the ne plus ultra of Argentinian Malbec.
Today we are delighted to offer the most recent release of his eponymous Catena Zapata, the glorious 2013, one of the finest in Argentina’s history. The Estate’s flagship wine has been awarded 96 points from Parker’s Wine Advocate, its highest ever score! Less than 5,000 cases were made with a small quantity making their way to Europe. The wine synthesises Cabernet Sauvignon with Malbec, with a higher preponderance of Cabernet Sauvignon showing Nicolas’ love for fusing the Old World and the New. The 2013 consists of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Malbec derived from the stunning single vineyards La Piramide, Adrianna and Nicasia. It was this cuvee that set the standard of quality against its French counterparts in 2004 and now serves as the blueprint from premium Argentinian wine. Meticulously built from a series of 210 separate row micro-fermentations across four vineyards, the wine is fermented with wild yeasts in new French oak and aged for a further four years in barrel and bottle. The value for money here is utterly superb, it is simply a knockout wine.
Catena Zapata Nicolas Catena Zapata 2013, 6×75 – £290 IB
96 Points, Luiz Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate
The 2013 Nicolás Catena Zapata is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Malbec from the La Pirámide, Adrianna and Nicasia vineyards. It is perfectly clean and focused, a noticeable improvement over the 2012 vintage. The Cabernet Sauvignon from this cool vintage seems to have a more restrained character that made me think of Cabernet Franc, very classical and serious. They have been harvesting earlier and earlier in search of balance and freshness, and the strategy has definitely worked. It has great freshness and focus, and the lower alcohol and acidity seem to make the wine integrate the oak very nicely. This has to be one of the finest vintages of Nicolás Catena Zapata. 55,000 bottles produced.
Rarer still are Zapata’s three separate bottlings from the Adrianna Vineyard which were introduced with this vintage. We are delighted to offer the Mundus Bacillus Terrae 2013, a wine that has been awarded 97 points, one of the highest in the history of Argentinian wine. Luis Gutiérrez of the Wine Advocate simply proclaims it to be “terrific”. Made from select vines on the tiny 1.4-hectare plot, 5,000 feet high over shallow limestone soils. The name pays tribute to its unique terroir, rich in rhizobacteria, and can be translated as “elegant microbes of the earth”. The Mundus 2013 is 97% Malbec, co-fermented with 3% Viognier, the latter proving a stunning freshness. This is an exceptionally rare wine, only 2,000 bottles were produced in 2013 – a smaller production than Romanee-Conti. Heralding form a truly exceptional vintage, the finest terroir in the land and from the greatest producer, this has to be a candidate for one of the greatest Malbecs ever produced.
Catena Zapata is a “guarantee of quality” according to the Wine Advocate and offers incredible value despite their rarity. We highly recommend these world beating Argentinean wines.
Catena Zapata Adrianna Mundus Bacillus Terrae Malbec 2013, 3×75 – £360 IB
97 Points, Luiz Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate
There are three separate bottling from the Adrianna vineyard, one of them the 2013 Adrianna Vineyard Mundus Bacillus Terrae, from the shallow and limestone soils with a south-facing, cold exposure, that was coupled by a cool year. This has higher acidity and citric, effervescent acidity combined with chalky tannins providing length and freshness. This is terrific. 2,000 bottles were filled in December 2015.
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