Nose

The nose offers explosive aromas of ripe black berry fruit with notes of sweet spice, cedar, and a touch of fresh mint.

Palate

The mouthfeel is full and concentrated with layers of rich cassis flavors and notes of roasted espresso and graphite.

Growing Conditions

The winter of 2004 was cold and dry, with little snow in the Andes mountains. Average temperatures throughout this season were much lower than normal, partly due to the lack of precipitation and low levels of relative humidity. The high altitude wine country of Mendoza entered spring under similar climatic conditions. Lower than average temperatures and very dry conditions led to an excellent start to the growing season, with very good bud break and vegetative growth. The cooler temperatures throughout early spring led to a slightly later flowering, foretelling the possibility of a later harvest. Mid spring saw a late frost on November 5th which touched the lower areas of the southern Uco Valley, especially the department of San Carlos. Late spring witnessed a continuation in the trend of cooler than average temperatures. There were also some light rains during this period which affected the flowering process, leading to a lower than average fruit set. This phenomenon reduced the per plant production, lowering yields and potentially increasing quality. Summer began with the early arrival of very cold nighttime temperatures. These very low January minimum temperatures led to a rapid and homogenous veraison, with almost all clusters changing color very quickly and uniformly. This color development foretold of the outstanding anthocyanin levels that would be achieved in the harvest of this year’s red varietals. In addition, this period saw very few days above 34° C (93.2° F), an important threshold in Mendoza. Temperatures below this mark allow for the most efficient photosynthetic activity in the vines, leading to heightened polyphenolic accumulation and excellent malic acid retention in the grapes. Late summer saw a slight increase in average temperatures. Increased cloudy weather meant that nighttime temperatures were not as low as usual, thereby lifting the overall average slightly. However, maximum temperatures during the day remained below 34° C (93.2° F), allowing the grapes to experience optimum ripening conditions. The area of Perdriel, some 20 kilometers to the south of the city of Mendoza, experienced a violent hail and thunderstorm on February 14. Many vineyards in the area lost their entire production for the 2005 harvest. In keeping with the isolated nature of these types of storms in Mendoza, Bodega Catena Zapata’s La Pirámide vineyard, which is located only 12 kilometers from Perdriel, did not even receive any precipitation that day. Early fall experienced a notable decrease in temperatures throughout the high altitude wine country of Mendoza. Both the daytime maximums and nighttime minimums were significantly lower than the historic norms. While there were no days above the 34° C (93.2° F) mark, allowing for the retention of important aromatic components, nighttime temperatures also dipped low enough to minimize photorespiration, a plant activity which burns important malic acids. There was some light precipitation around March 12. However all white grapes had already been harvested and the red varietals were left on the vines until this limited rainfall evaporated, leaving no detrimental effects. Late fall, the final ripening stage for Mendoza’s highest altitude vineyards, had spectacular weather. Dry conditions were accompanied by lower than average temperatures, ideal circumstances for the grapes to reach their maximum level of physiological ripeness while retaining excellent freshness. Bodega Catena Zapata’s highest altitude vineyard, Adrianna, even saw some light snow in late April, during the last week of harvest, an unprecedented testimony to the unique mountain location of this site. In general, the 2004 – 2005 growing season was characterized by significantly lower average temperatures. The lower daytime highs allowed the vines to continue their photosynthetic activity almost without interruption, resulting in heightened polyphenolic accumulation as well as flavor and aroma concentration. The unusually cold nighttime lows offered the opportunity for the vines to retain increased levels of natural acids, lending wonderful balance to the fruit as well as excellent freshness.

Winemaking

Total Acidity: 5.65 grams/liter

Appearance

The 2005 Catena Cabernet Sauvignon presents a dark, opaque violet color with reddish hues.