Wine Spectator 91 points - Jammy yet fresh, with bright acidity supporting dark cassis, plum skin and blackberry fruit, offset by a savory finish of licorice, grilled herb and bitter almond. Drink now through 2015. –NW
(Nov 15 2013)
Wine Advocate 94 points - The 2010 Catena Alta Malbec is composed with fruit from Angelica, La Piramide, Nicasia and Adrianna and there was about 30-40% whole-cluster fermentation with a pinch of Viognier and Cabernet Franc. As with many others, the fruit from four different vineyards created different lots from different stages of harvests and different fermentation methods. A pure exercise of blending a selection of available wines from this painstaking working method. It feels riper than the Alta Cabernet, quite dark, with aromas of ripe plums, blackberries and a touch of spices, but with air the nose comes back with a strong violet note. It is medium-bodied, with good acidity, clean and pungent flavors, ending long and supple. Excellent. Drink 2014-2020. (Apr 2014)
Catena Alta Malbec is sourced from Lot 18 of the Angélica vineyard, located in Lunlunta (2,850’ elevation), Lot 4 from the La Pirámide vineyard, located in Agrelo (3,100’ elevation), Lot 2 from the La Consulta vineyard, located in La Consulta (3,000’ elevation), and Lots 3 & 9 from the Adrianna vineyard, located in Gualtallary (4,725’ & 4,600’ elevations).
This wine undergoes a demanding selection process in both the vineyard and the winery.
|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.