Growing Conditions

A Blend of Three Vineyards - vineyards are divided into lots that are harvested at different times: Angelica Vineyard, Lunlunta 3,116 ft (920 m): aluvial origin. Loamy clay in the topsoil with rounded rocks on the bottom. Adrianna vineyard, Gualtallary 4,757 ft (1,450 m): aluvial origin. Gravel and limestone. Rounded rocks in the bottom. El Cepillo, Eugenio Bustos 3,593 ft (1,090 m) elevation: Loam-sandy soil with thick calcareous layers and rounded rocks on the bottom. The wines stand out for their high natural acidity, freshness and concentration. There is perfect balance of acidity and alcohol; we predict an extraordinary ageing potential. 2014 was the coolest harvest year since 2001. It was a year with pronounced regional contrasts. Abundant snowmelt (the Andes could be seen covered in snow throughout most of the harvest season) would have made this a very large harvest, except that everything slowed down with the cool weather in February, March and April, and the severe September frost. The frost affected predominantly Eastern and Northern Mendoza and San Juan, but also some parts of the Uco Valley and Lujan de Cuyo. In the end, the harvest was delayed by one to two weeks and overall the yields were average. A great achievement for this year was the certification of the Argentina Sustainability Protocol by Bodegas de Argentina. The project started four years ago when Laura Catena came back from California with the idea to apply sustainable practices in the Catena Vineyards. Vineyard manager Luis Reginato teamed up with the Catena Institute of Wine to adapt the California protocol to Mendoza. Many of the practices were already endemic to our Catena culture of green winegrowing, but having a formal process helped us take advantage of sustainability at all levels of our family winery, from the vineyards to the winery to human resources. The beneficial effects of using green forage between rows, natural compost and judicious water management convinced us to attempt a certification process for our whole wine region. We brought our protocol to Bodegas de Argentina and worked with the Catena Institute, the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo and the INV (National Viticulture Institute) to provide a certifiable protocol for the region, which was formally approved in November of 2013. The protocol has a strong humanistic approach, encouraging the provision of social benefits for employees and child-care and nutrition for the families of seasonal workers.

Harvest

ADRIANNA VINEYARD: SOUTH AMERICA'S GRAND CRU VINEYARD - Gualtallary, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 4757 ft elevation This year was a real test for the Adrianna Vineyard because the weather was extremely cold compared to average temperatures. To put it into perspective, this year would be a Burgundian year by the Winkler scale. In spite of the cooler temperatures, ripening happened to perfection and we predict phenomenal ageability for the 2014 Adrianna Malbec and the White Bones and White Stones Chardonnays. This year we continued the meticulous zonification of the Adrianna Vineyard and harvested 137 different lots. We are on track with the Catena Institute of Wine's goal of making the Adrianna Vineyard the most studied vineyard in the world. ANGÉLICA VINEYARD, Lunlunta, Maipú, Mendoza, 3018 ft elevation Although surrounding vineyards were affected by frost and hail, our 80-year-old Angelica vineyard was fortunately spared this year. Yields were at their historic yield of 2-3 tons per acre depending on the lot. We farm Angelica in a very natural way with wild forage between the rows and the leftover leaves and buds are used as natural fertilizer. The extra humidity was just what this vineyard needed to look healthy throughout the harvest season. We anticipated some potential rot in the area because of the scattered seasonal rains, and our viticultural team was right to harvest a little earlier than usual in the last two weeks of March. The perfume of the lot 18 Angelica Malbec that goes into Catena Alta is one to be remembered.

Winemaking

This wine goes through an extensive cold maceration for 5 days at 48ºF (8,8ºC) to extract aromas. The juice is then fermented for 16 days with a post-fermentation maceration of 22 days. Wild Yeasts.

Aging

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