Harvest time varies depending on each lot's soil composition. Harvest time can vary by several weeks between one lot and another within the same vineyard. Nicasia Vineyard Named after Nicolás Catena's grandmother. Location: Altamira en La Consulta District, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina. Altitude: 3,593 ft (1,095 m) elevation. Soil: Very shallow loamy topsoil with surface gravel and gravelly (large stones) dry river bed subsoil - optimal drainage. Plant selection: Catena Cuttings malbec selection.
“El Año Mendocino,” the Mendoza Year we call it. After a small cool vintage 2017, which we call “El Año Bordelés” (the Bordeaux Year) and a small, very cool and rainy year in 2016 “El Año Bourguignon” (the Burgundian year), we finally got a vintage that is classically Mendozan: dry, cool, sunny and with moderate yields in every region from the lowest to the highest altitudes. The summer of 2017 started out warm but then cooled off during the 2018 harvest months of February, March and April. This, in addition to the lower rainfall, gave rise to optimal balance in the fruit, with beautiful natural acidity, regional aromatic expression and smooth tannins.
100% whole cluster and 90% whole berry fruit is hand- loaded into vertical 225 liters open barrels and 500 liters french oak roll fermentors for a 100% barrel fermentation for a period of 17 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, followed by 24 months of aging in bottle before release.