Nicola Catena planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza in 1902. His grandson, Nicolás Catena, is known as the man who revolutionized Argentine wine and introduced high altitude Malbec to the world. The Historic Catena Zapata vineyards are planted with the Catena family’s proprietary selection of malbec plants: the Catena Cuttings. Catena Alta Malbec is sourced from Block 18 of the Angélica vineyard, Block 4 of the La Pirámide vineyard, Block 1 of the Nicasia vineyard and Blocks 3 & 9 of the Adrianna vineyard.
Wine Advocate 93 - As with the other varietals of the range, I also had two vintages of this to compare, starting with the older 2015 Catena Alta Malbec. It is a mixture of grapes from multiple vineyards: Angelica, La Pirámide, Nicasia, Adrianna and Angélica Sur. It fermented in 225- and 500-liter oak barrels and had an élevage of some 18 months in French oak. You can notice the slightly riper year, and it does suffer a bit in comparison with the truly superb 2016 even though it's a noteworthy expression of Malbec with great freshness for the climatic conditions of the year.
James Suckling 93 - Wonderfully fresh violets on the nose with just a hint of clove. Rich, powerful, creamy and fresh, with a long, polished finish. A serious Argentinian malbec with great balance. Drink or hold.
Wine Spectator 90 - Finely textured, offering concentrated dark plum, cream and spice flavors that are well-structured. The finish lengthens out nicely, with minerally notes. Drink now through 2021.
Wine Enthusiast 90 - Woodsy aromas of black fruit and gingerbread create a friendly nose that lacks exactness. This is bulky on the palate, with dense berry flavors that are foresty, minty and oaky. Spice and chocolate mint flavors blend with lightly herbal berry notes on the finish.