This morning brings another new headline stirring Zapata release, this time Argentina’s crown jewel has earned (yet again) tremendous critical acclaim – including an outstanding 100 point review. With increased attention to single vineyard high altitude terroir, “place” has come front and center at Catena, and, as a result, the estate’s wines connect majesty and power with increasingly intimate scope and scale. While you can say this isn’t exactly a new recipe for Catena Zapata, one can argue they are getting better and better at it. The wines, with each new release, are showing more and more individual character and confidence.
It doesn’t hurt that 2016 was a legendary year for Argentina, either. With an enormous amount of rain from El Niño, the high-altitude vineyards of the estate did not have to irrigate. The vintage brought mesmerizing elegance along with impressive concentration (there were nearly 25% reduction in yields across the country). As you will see in the reviews below, the 2016’s Zapata’s are significant wines and we strongly recommend collectors to buy them up before they disappear. Limited quantities are available.
2016 Catena Zapata "River Stones" Malbec (Adrianna Vineyard)
“Like the other Malbecs from Adrianna Vineyard, the 2016 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones was bottled a little earlier, and the time in oak was shortened. It was a most unusual year that was cold and rainy and allowed for no irrigation. This has good ripeness and sharp acidity, making it powerful but extremely fresh, with a backbone of acidity that lifts the wine up and makes it extremely long and persistent. In fact, the wine blows me away with an unusual combination of power and elegance; it shows detailed and nuanced, with subtle aromas of violets, spices, tobacco and wet chalk. It has a velvety texture with ultra-srefined, fine-grained tannins. It is precise in the acidity and on the palate, with the textbook chalky tannins and a sapid, almost salty finish. This is serious, austere, mineral, long, compact, harmonious and concentrated, yet it feels light and has that somewhat contradictory powerful elegance. This has to be the best wine ever produced at Catena. I'd love to have a time machine and taste this wine in 20 years' time.” 100 Points, Wine Advocate
2016 Catena Zapata "White Stones" Chardonnay (Adrianna Vineyard)
“My favorite of the Adrianna whites, the 2016 White Stones Chardonnay was cropped from a low-yielding, cool and wet year, very unusual weather in Mendoza. It's sharp, austere, mineral and long. No matter how impressed I was with the 2015 or the two vintages of the White Bones I tasted next to it, this stole the show. It has a combination of mineral notes that transmit a serious sensation with hints of flowers, spices and herbs that show in a very subtle way. The palate is liquid chalk, with sharp and pungent flavors, nicely textured. It's precise, linear, long and sharp, with great length and persistence. It will be fascinating to see how this wine evolves in bottle, because I think we can have a big surprise in ten years from now.” 98 Points, Wine Advocate