Nose

The nose offers peaches, vanilla and citric aromas with light floral notes and hints of spice and toasted bread.

Palate

The palate shows rich and concentrated ripe pear, apricot flavors and a light note of sweet nutmeg spice. Finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.

Growing Conditions

In most regions there was about 25% more rain than usual (5 to 50mm more) in the late spring/early summer and these rains had a natural cooling effect in the months of November and December. Towards the end of December it stopped raining in most regions. Veraison started a bit earlier than usual, and the canopy was well developed early in the harvest season because of the rains. It stopped raining just at the right time for red varietals and very high altitude chardonnay to experience the necessary amount of stress. We did a great deal of Scholander pump water measurements this year because in the dry conditions of Jan-May it was essential to stress the plants judiciously. Most lots were harvested between 7 and 10 days prior to the usual date. Because of the ideal weather conditions of February, March, April and May, we were able to harvest all our vineyards at 4 different times, a method that we find helpful as a way to intensify each aspect of the vineyard's terroir: aromatics (early harvest), fine tannins and mid palate (mid harvest), concentration of tannins-polymerization (late harvest.)

Harvest

DOMINGO VINEYARD - Villa Bastías, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 3675 ft elevation Promising for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (Dijon Clones). Laura will use some of this Pinot Noir for the Luca Pinot. ADRIANNA VINEYARD - Gualtallary, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 4757 ft elevation This vineyard saw a somewhat different weather pattern than the rest of the Uco Valley because it rained more here in February. It stopped raining towards the end of February, and after that it was clear and sunny. The canopies were big so there was lots of photosynthesis going on. We harvested most of the Malbec towards the end of April when it had been completely dry for 2 months. The Malbec has the typical floral notes that we get from this vineyard with perfect balance between sugars, acidity and tannins. We expect the wines to be intensely concentrated and velvety at the same time.

Winemaking

Whole clusters are pressed, and then 100% barrel fermented in French oak (50% new) with natural yeasts at low temperatures.

Aging

Aged for 12-16 months in French oak. Total Acidity: 6.25 grams/liter

Appearance

The 2009 Catena Alta Chardonnay presents an intense greenish-yellow color.