Nose

The nose offers intense aromas of ripe black currant fruit with layers of eastern spice, cedar, and a touch of fresh herbs.

Palate

The mouthfeel is full and rich with layers of cassis and notes of roasted espresso and graphite. The finish is bright and fresh with finely grained tannins.

Growing Conditions

2008 was an outstanding vintage. The growing season began warmer than usual. The conditions were also exceptionally dry. This caused the physiological ripening of sugars to accelerate but the phenological ripening of polyphenols to slow down. In late January, some precipitation moved in which lowered temperatures and brought the physiological and phenological ripening processes back in sync. It was a vintage which started warm and ended cool. 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.

Winemaking

No cold maceration; the juice begins fermentation right away. Short 12-14 day post-fermentation maceration; finishes malolactic in barrel.

Aging

14 months in 80% French oak (30% new) and 20% new American oak.

Appearance

The 2008 Catena Cabernet Sauvignon presents a dark purple color with tones of garnet.