Nose

The nose offers freshly ground, ripe berry fruits with layers of wild flowers, mocha and tobacco.

Palate

The mouthfeel is full with excellent weight and concentration with a soft and silky texture. The mid-palate offers rich cassis and black currant fruit flavors interwoven with hints of chocolate, vanilla and black pepper. It finishes with a wonderful minerality, finely grained tannins and lively acidity.

Growing Conditions

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.

Harvest

LA PIRÁMIDE VINEYARD - Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, 3117 ft elevation A very violent hailstorm on February 14th destroyed the harvest in most of this vineyard. The top Cabernet Sauvignon lot, Lot III, was protected by hail netting and so was thankfully spared. The rest of March was similar to the conditions in Lunlunta, with no more precipitation and very cool temperatures. This last lot of Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on April 14th. ANGÉLICA VINEYARD - Lunlunta, Maipú, Mendoza, 3018 ft elevation There were above average precipitation in the beginning of February which replaced the winery's normal irrigation regime. Very low yields kept the grapes healthy. As of February 15th the vineyard did not get any further precipitation and temperatures were at the historically normal levels. We have excellent quality Malbecs from this vineyard with lots being harvested form mid March to April 10th. 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. NICASIA VINEYARD - Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 3593 ft elevation This vineyard had outstanding growing conditions throughout the year. The isolated nature of precipitation in Mendoza meant that this vineyard experienced very dry conditions throughout the year. The temperatures were between 3 and 5° C lower than normal. This allowed for physiological and phenological ripeness to develop together, totally synchronized. Harvest began in the beginning of April and the lasted throughout the month, with the last lots of Cabernet Sauvignon brought in on April 28th.

Winemaking

Whole berries are hand loaded into small format fermentation steel tanks 500 lts and bins; lots are treated individually; fermentation and maceration time lasts from 10–50 days; the wine finishes alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel. Total Acidity: 5.5 grams/liter Unfined and unfiltered

Aging

Aged for 18 months in French oak, 70% new.

Appearance

Catena Alta Malbec 2008 shows a saturated dark violet color.