Nose

The nose is intense and focused, with layers of citrus and pear fruit aromas laced with honey, toast, and mineral notes.

Palate

The wine is full yet crisp on the palate, with a long persistent finsish. Catena Alta Chardonnay will only be made in exceptional vintage years.

Growing Conditions

100% Chardonnay sourced from the sandy soil of Lot 1 in the Adrianna vineyard, the first vintage to incorporate this unique high altitude vineyard site. The 1999 growing season in Adrianna vineyard presented the typically cool temperatures of this microclimate. Average temperatures for the month prior to ripening were only 18.1° C with very cool nights dropping on average to 11.7° C. These cooler temperatures allowed the Chardonnay grapes to develop ripe pear fruit flavors with delicate citrus and floral tones, strong mineral notes and excellent natural acidity. This vintage can be enjoyed now and will continue to improve over the next 5 to 7 years. The winter of 1999 was very cold in Mendoza with variable humidity levels. Spring arrived with temperatures slightly below normal and some isolated precipitation. These conditions had a slight affect on the set of some varietals in some areas. In Catena's Angélica Vineyard this resulted in more isolated clusters of smaller berries in the Malbec varietals, a phenomenon which helped to increase the overall quality and concentration of this fruit in the 2000 harvest. The beginning of summer, towards the end of January 2000, was characterized by lower than normal temperatures and some isolated thunderstorms. These factors helped to slow down the maturation process, indicating a slightly later than usual harvest. The rest of summer in general offered dry and sunny conditions, allowing for a gradual and complete ripening. There were some isolated thunderstorms in the beginning of March. The modern canopy management techniques used in the Catena vineyards, which include leaf thinning and cropping, allow for excellent aeration, ensuring that the clusters remain dry and healthy. These conditions slightly delayed the harvest, offering the opportunity for the fruit to achieve a more complete and thorough maturation. Autumn arrived with moderate temperatures and dry conditions, allowing the grapes to naturally complete the maturation process and achieve their optimum ripeness.

Harvest

The Catena vineyards were closely monitored through regular grape tasting and the decision to harvest was made in order to ensure complete maturation: ripe, sweet tannins and the full development of the components of aroma and color. In general, the 2000 harvest resulted in the cultivation of fruit with extraordinary concentration and balance. The grapes ripened slowly and gradually. Excellent weather conditions during harvest allowed the grapes to ripen completely, achieving their optimum maturation level. The Wines of Nicolás Catena is proud to begin the new millennium with what will surely be a memorable vintage.

Winemaking

The grapes for Catena Alta Chardonnay come from a select block of Adrianna vineyard, Catena's premier Chardonnay vineyard. At 1,500m (5,000') elevation. The Catena Alta block has historically provided the most balanced and uniform yields. These carefully chosen vines undergo a detailed thinning process aimed at leaving only select, isolated clusters. Picked in the cool, early morning hours, the grapes for Catena Alta Chardonnay are whole cluster pressed. Total Acidity: 6.7 grams/liter

Aging

The juice is all barrel fermented, and the wine spends a total of 12 months in François Fréres French oak, 100% new.

Appearance

The 2000 Catena Alta Chardonnay has a straw yellow color with light green tones.