The wines stand out for their high natural acidity, freshness and concentration. There is perfect balance of acidity and alcohol; we predict an extraordinary ageing potential.
2014 was the coolest harvest year since 2001. It was a year with pronounced regional contrasts. Abundant snowmelt (the Andes could be seen covered in snow throughout most of the harvest season) would have made this a very large harvest, except that everything slowed down with the cool weather in February, March and April, and the severe September frost. The frost affected predominantly Eastern and Northern Mendoza and San Juan, but also some parts of the Uco Valley and Lujan de Cuyo. In the end, the harvest was delayed by one to two weeks and overall the yields were average.
A great achievement for this year was the certification of the Argentina Sustainability Protocol by Bodegas de Argentina. The project started four years ago when Laura Catena came back from California with the idea to apply sustainable practices in the Catena Vineyards. Vineyard manager Luis Reginato teamed up with the Catena Institute of Wine to adapt the California protocol to Mendoza.
Many of the practices were already endemic to our Catena culture of green winegrowing, but having a formal process helped us take advantage of sustainability at all levels of our family winery, from the vineyards to the winery to human resources.
The beneficial effects of using green forage between rows, natural compost and judicious water management convinced us to attempt a certification process for our whole wine region. We brought our protocol to Bodegas de Argentina and worked with the Catena Institute, the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and the INV (National Viticulture Institute) to provide a certifiable protocol for the region, which was formally approved in November of 2013. The protocol has a strong humanistic approach, encouraging the provision of social benefits for employees and child-care and nutrition for the families of seasonal workers.
ADRIANNA VINEYARD: SOUTH AMERICA'S GRAND CRU VINEYARD - Gualtallary, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 4757 ft elevation
This year was a real test for the Adrianna Vineyard because the weather was extremely cold compared to average temperatures. To put it into perspective, this year would be a Burgundian year by the Winkler scale. In spite of the cooler temperatures, ripening happened to perfection and we predict phenomenal ageability for the 2014 Adrianna Malbec and the White Bones and White Stones Chardonnays. This year we continued the meticulous zonification of the Adrianna Vineyard and harvested 137 different lots. We are on track with the Catena Institute of Wine's goal of making the Adrianna Vineyard the most studied vineyard in the world.
DOMINGO VINEYARD, Villa Bastías, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 3675 ft elevation
The Domingo Vineyard was also affected by the late September frost and yields were down by about 30%. The combination of lower yields and the well-drained stony/limestone soils allowed the vineyard to withstand the scattered seasonal rains with no rot. The resulting cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay will be very elegant with optimal acidity and dense flavors.
Whole clusters are pressed, and then 100% fermented in 500 L French oak barrels with natural yeasts at low temperatures. Wild yeasts.
Total Acidity: 7.5 grams/liter
Aged for 14 months in French oak. 30% does not undergo malolactic fermentation. First, second and third use barrels used.