Growing Conditions

A Blend of Five Vineyards - vineyards are divided into lots that are harvested at different times: Agrelo 3,117 ft (950 m) elevation: aluvial origin. Clay topsoil with rounded rocks on the bottom. Villa Bastías 3,675 ft (1,120 m) elevation: aluvial origin. Silt loamy soil with limestone on the bottom. Altamira in La Consulta 3,593 ft (1,095 m) elevation: aluvial origin. Loamy soil, with rounded rocks on the bottom. El Cepillo, Eugenio Bustos 3,593 ft (1,090 m) elevation: aluvial origin. Loam-sandy soil with thick calcareous layers and rounded rocks on the bottom. Gualtallary 4,757 ft (1,450 m) elevation: aluvial origin. Gravel and limestone soil. Rounded rocks in the bottom. The 2010 Harvest is all about low quantity and high quality. If there was ever a year to show that low yields matter for quality, 2010 was it. The good news is that many thousands of hectares of new vineyards were planted in the last five years, and these vineyards are coming into production, so total volume is actually up overall from last year. The low yields are due to a cold spring that delayed bud break and some scattered frosts that led to uneven flowering in many areas. January and February were quite warm and there were no rains after mid February. Perfectly ripe, healthy grapes with great concentration have characterized this vintage. The snowmelt from the Andes was pure and plentiful. Because of the cold spring, the harvest was late in most regions; 10-15 days later than average. The areas most affected by the spring frosts, Ugarteche and Anchoris in Lujan de Cuyo and Altamira in La Consulta in the Uco Valley, saw yields reduced significantly between 20 and 80%. Agrelo and Perdriel in Lujan de Cuyo and Gualtallary and Tupungato in the Uco Valley were less affected, with yields only down about 10-20% in average. The East was not significantly affected by frost, but summer hail was ubiquitous and growers without hail netting saw yields down 50-80% - a true natural disaster. Our overall yields are down 20-25%. Fortunately, the now 6-10 year old [it was planted in phases] Angelica Sur vineyard in Eugenio Bustos, is just glorious, and the Malbec from there has been a welcome addition to the Catena program over the last two years. It is hard to complain about the low yields when you taste and see the concentration and richness of the wines in the tanks and barrels.

Harvest

Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc: loved the cold spring and low yields. The quality was truly extra-ordinary. Harvest ranged from early April in Lujan de Cuyo to early May in the Uco Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon: La Piramide Vineyard (Agrelo) April 6 (sandy areas), May 6 (clay areas). Domingo Vineyard (Villa Bastias, Tupungato) 15-19 April. Adrianna Vineyard (Gualtallary) April 5 - May 6. Angelica Sur Vineyard (Eugenio Bustos) April 15-25, sandy soils with a touch of clay, we are finding Eugenio Bustos to be a particularly good terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaking

Cold maceration for 5 days, fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 14 days and post-fermentation maceration for 27-32 days. Wild yeasts. Total Acidity: 6 grams/liter

Aging

12-14 months in barrel. Barrel selection varies depending on vineyard and vintage - First, second and third use barrels used.