Growing Conditions

The 2007 - 2008 growing season began with a warmer than usual Spring and early Summer. The conditions were also exceptionally dry. This caused the physiological ripening of sugars to accelerate but the phenological ripening of polyphenols to slow down. Veraison, as a result, was 7 - 10 days later than normal in most areas. In late January, some precipitation moved in which lowered temperatures and brought the physiological and phenological ripening processes back into synchronization. The month of February saw rather unstable weather throughout the region, with some isolated thunder and hail storms. The isolated nature of the precipitation meant that each vineyard received several light to medium rains throughout the month. This actually served to replace the normal irrigation regimes implemented in the Catena Zapata vineyards. The extremely low yields, combined with well drained soils, meant that there were very few sanitary issues throughout the winery's vineyards. March was characterized by lower precipitation than February and a continued drop in temperatures. As the grapes entered into the last month of ripening, the conditions were excellent for an outstanding vintage. The month of April has been dry and very cool. The grapes still on the vine are developing very nicely and will be harvested in excellent sanitary conditions and with exceptional levels of concentration and complexity.


ADRIANNA VINEYARD - Gualtallary, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 4757 ft elevation In February this vineyard, like Domingo, received above normal precipitation, but in rains that were spread through out the month, replacing the irrigation that the winery usually applies to the vineyard. The very sandy soils, and low yields throughout the vineyard avoided any sanitary problems and allowed the fruit to ripen well. Both February and March saw lower than normal temperatures, allowing for even ripening and long hang times. The fruit also maintained excellent levels of natural acidity, lending freshness and vibrancy to the grapes. Almost all of the Chardonnay has been harvested, with one lot still in the vineyard. The top lots of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon will be harvested over the next two weeks. NICASIA VINEYARD - Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 3593 ft elevation This vineyard had outstanding growing conditions throughout the year. The isolated nature of precipitation in Mendoza meant that this vineyard experienced very dry conditions throughout the year. The temperatures were between 3 and 5° C lower than normal. This allowed for physiological and phenological ripeness to develop together, totally synchronized. Harvest began in the beginning of April and the lasted throughout the month, with the last lots of Cabernet Sauvignon brought in on April 28th.


Unfined and unfiltered


20% whole cluster and 80% whole berry fruit is hand-loaded into 225-500 liter new French oak barrels for a 100% barrel fermentation for a period of 30 - 32 days, allowing seamless oak integration. The fermentation temperature is kept low, extracting intense aromas, and the cap management is done by hand to ensure soft, gentle flavors and tannin extraction. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel leaves considerable lees and sediment.


The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 24 months. Adrianna Malbec component is co-fermented with Viognier and Nicasia Malbec component is co- fermented with Cabernet Franc.