Wine Advocate 91 points - As I saw with the Cabernet, the 2013 Catena Malbec also feels fresher than the 2012. It is produced with fruit from Valle de Uco and some 20% from the Lujan de Cuyo zone that fermented in a mixture of cement and stainless steel, and partly matured in barrels for some 10 months. The nose is full of violets and black cherries, and is quite perfumed. The palate has lively acidity that makes it extremely fresh, long, pleasant and easy to dink, and it cleanses your palate with the mineral-driven finish. A textbook Malbec to buy by the case. Drink or keep. This has to be one of the best vintages of this popular Malbec. The production figures are mind-boggling, as there are over one million bottles of this wine, so it should be quite easy to find.
The Catena family has conducted extensive research into the soils and microclimates of Mendoza's high altitude wine country in the foothills of the Andes mountains. At different altitudes, the family’s Malbec vineyards express a unique profile of aromas and flavors: the ripe plum fruit flavors and silky texture of the Angelica vineyard (2,850’ elevation); the dark fruit character and pepper notes of the La Pirámide vineyard (3,100’ elevation); the black cherry aromas and excellent structure of the Altamira vineyard (3,870’ elevation); the explosive floral aromatics full, concentrated mouthfeel of the Adrianna vineyard (5,000’). The blend of these components creates a wine of unique character that has balance, concentration and a strong varietal identity.
|Over the past 20 years, Nicolás and Laura Catena and their vineyard management team have worked tirelessly in the discovery, identification and development of key microclimates in the high altitude wine country of Mendoza, Argentina. Nicolás Catena has planted an almost countless number of varietals and clones throughout his mountain vineyard sites.
This quest for quality lead Nicolás and Laura Catena to a crucial discovery regarding the influence of altitude on grape cultivation in Mendoza. Observing the important differences in soil types, average temperatures and thermal amplitudes that exist at varying altitudes, he found that vineyard sites which are just a few kilometers apart can have vast differences in altitude and possess remarkably different microclimates.
Over the years, the in depth study of these different microclimates led Nicolás to determine that the same varietal, and even the same clone, presented distinct aromatic and flavor profiles when cultivated in each of these unique microclimates. Implementing the age old art of assemblage, he found that by blending these different lots of the same varietal, he could achieve a more complex wine.