Nose

The La Pirámide vineyard lends delicate rose petal aromatics. While Lot 3 of the Adrianna vineyard presents explosive floral aromatics.

Palate

The 2002 Catena Alta Malbec is the quintessential example of a Malbec microclimate blend. The Angelica vineyard offers ripe plum flavors with a full, yet soft mouthfeel. The La Pirámide vineyard lends delicate spicy black pepper notes. The Altamira in La Consulta vineyard contributes concentrated black cherry fruit and additional structure. Lot 3 of the Adrianna vineyard presents finely grained tannins while Lot 9 from this vineyard adds a concentrated cassis fruit and a lengthy finish. The blend of these five distinct Malbec lots allows for heightened complexity in the final wine.

Growing Conditions

A quintessential example of microclimate blending this wine is 100% Malbec sourced from the following vineyard lots: the sandy, clay soils in Lot 18 of the Angélica vineyard; the lime, clay soils in Lot 4 of the La Pirámide vineyard; the sandy soils in Lot 2 of the Altamira in La Consulta vineyard; and the sandy soils of Lot 3 & 9 of the Adrianna vineyard. Cooler than normal temperatures in the Angélica & La Pirámide vineyards offered fruit with rich fruit aromatics and soft textures. Slightly warmer temperatures in Adrianna & Altamira in La Consulta meant deep blackish purple color, wonderful cassis and floral aromatics and well structured tannins. Argentine wine producers are rejoicing. The expressions on the faces of vineyard managers and winemakers are unmistakable. Mother Nature has chosen to smile once again on the unique high altitude wine country of Mendoza, making the 2002 harvest perhaps the best in the last 10 years. The climatic conditions in the ever so important ripening months of January through April could not have been better. The dry, warm, and sunny weather has been constant, with only a brief interruption in the middle of February in the form of isolated thunderstorms. Fortunately, this small precipitation dried quickly and had no effect on grape quality. The white grapes were the first to arrive, having been given the opportunity to achieve maximum ripeness. The fruit was full of intense aromatics, rich varietal fruit flavors and well balanced acidity. The reds soon followed with the likes of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Bonarda leading the way. All the grapes were at their optimum ripeness, with deep rich color, heady aromatics and concentrated flavors. Malbec, the star grape of Argentina, was indeed the star of the 2002 vintage. With ideal ripening conditions the Malbec fruit was able to enjoy extended hang time, ensuring maximum ripeness of all elements of color, aroma and flavor. The small, concentrated Malbec berries were full of ripe black stone fruit flavors and soft, sweet tannins. Cooler than usual nights in January and February allowed the vines to enjoy uninterrupted ripening for the rest of the growing season.

Harvest

The Malbec harvest began on March 15, about one week early this year. Due to large differences in the altitudes of our vineyards, the Malbec harvest lasted until April 10, with the highest altitude, coolest climate fruit being harvested last. The fermenting juice shows a deep violet, almost blackish color, intense aromas, and rich concentrated flavors.

Winemaking

Fermentation: Max. Temp. 27° C for a 14 day fermentation and 28 day maceration Total Acidity: 5.92 grams/liter Unfined and unfiltered

Aging

Aging: 12 months in French oak, 50% new

Appearance

Lot 9 of the Adrianna vineyard adds a deep, blackish - purple color.