The nose shows a bright mixture of citrus fruit interwoven with honeyed stone fruit notes and floral tones.
The mouthfeel is rich and concentrated, showing ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of sweet nutmeg spice. The finish shows bright, clean acidity and wonderful length.
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.
DOMINGO VINEYARD - Villa Bastías, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 3675 ft elevation
There was considerably more precipitation in February than normal. However it was spaced out over 4 rains throughout the month. This replaced the winery's usual irrigation regime. In addition maintaining very low yields helped to keep healthy grape conditions. Temperatures lowered drastically throughout the month leading to very good quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Cabernet Sauvignon was in very good shape and was harvested on April 17th.
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.
The whole cluster is pressed, and then 100% barrel fermented.
Total Acidity: 6 grams/liter
French oak (50% new) with natural yeasts at low temperatures and aged for 12-16 months.
The 2008 Catena Alta Chardonnay has a greenish-yellow color.