The 2009 Catena Chardonnay combines the unique expressions of two high altitude Catena estate vineyards. The Agrelo vineyard offers honeyed stone fruit flavors with a rich, unctuous mouthfeel, while the Tupungato vineyard lends citrus notes, pear and fig flavors with a strong minerality and a crisp finish.

Growing Conditions

December rains which made for good canopy growth. Dry after mid January with sunny days and cool nights.

In most regions there was about 25% more rain than usual (5 to 50mm more) in the late spring/early summer and these rains had a natural cooling effect in the months of November and December. Towards the end of December it stopped raining in most regions. Veraison started a bit earlier than usual, and the canopy was well developed early in the harvest season because of the rains. It stopped raining just at the right time for red varietals and very high altitude chardonnay to experience the necessary amount of stress.

We did a great deal of Scholander pump water measurements this year because in the dry conditions of Jan-May it was essential to stress the plants judiciously. Most lots were harvested between 7 and 10 days prior to the usual date. Because of the ideal weather conditions of February, March, April and May, we were able to harvest all our vineyards at 4 different times, a method that we find helpful as a way to intensify each aspect of the vineyard's terroir: aromatics (early harvest), fine tannins and mid palate (mid harvest), concentration of tannins-polymerization (late harvest.)


The harvest was about 10 days earlier than usual.


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


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