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7th Wine: Catena Alta Malbec

  • Alta in the name means high, and relates to where these wines vineyards were planted.
  • Catena Alta Malbec is sourced from small, carefully selected estate-grown lots in four of the Catena family’s Andean vineyards.
  • The blend of these historic lots, yields a highly aromatic and elegant wine that speaks for the earth and the vines.
  • Nicola Catena arrived in Mendoza, Argentina from the Marche region of Italy in 1898, and planted his first Malbec vineyard in 1902.
  • His son Domingo then grew the business until the Catena family became one of the largest vineyard holders in Mendoza.
  • The business was further transformed his son, Nicolás Catena.
  • In 1982 he came to the United States as a visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley, and during his time in the San Francisco Bay Area was inspired by California wines.
  • Upon returning to his home country, he introduced modern European winemaking and viticultural techniques to Argentina, including small French oak barrels, drip irrigation and extremely low yields and plant-by-plant selection.
  • He developed Argentina’s first patented selection of Argentine Malbec clones
  • the Catena cuttings
  • and dedicated himself to studying Mendoza’s high altitude vine growing conditions.
  • For his pioneering work and vision to elevate the stature of Argentine wine worldwide, Nicolás Catena has received numerous awards.
  • Nicolas’ daughter is now the fourth generation vintner Laura Catena, a Harvard and Stanford educated physician, she is current General Manager of Bodega Catena Zapata.
  • She is the author of Vino Argentino, An Insiders Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina.
  • It has received rave reviews.
  • Catena Alta Malbec
  • Presents a dark opaque violet colour, with almost blackish hues. The nose offers freshly ground, ripe berry fruits with layers of violet flowers, cinnamon spice, and a touch of lavender. The mouthfeel is full and coating, with exceptional weight and concentration and a velvety texture. The mid-palate offers rich cassis and black currant fruit flavours interwoven with hints of chocolate, vanilla and black pepper. The lengthy finish shows wonderful minerality, with finely grained tannins and lively acidity.
  • Goes great with steak, meat and more meat.
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