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 Vintage2008 Label 1 of 14 
ProducerBodega Catena Zapata (web)
DesignationCatena Alta
UPC Code(s)098709088542, 7794450008169

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2011 and 2014 (based on 14 user opinions)

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 90.1 pts. and median of 90 pts. in 98 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by johnrm on 6/25/2016 & rated 92 points: Pale greenish yellow colour. Restrained nose when opened. Buttery, honeyed, complex palate with apple, sweet pineapple and other tropical fruit flavours integrated with subtle spice and gentle citrus acidity that persisted on the lips. Some dusty oak at first on the late palate but this seemed to soften and a hint of ginger emerged with time. The wine opened nicely in the glass and showed its class. The palate was long and the flavours were very well integrated. Good with food (cold salmon) and showed orange citrus notes later.
A very attractive and elegant wine and an improvement on the excellent standard Catena Chardonnay (but perhaps not quite as dramatic a step up as I expected). I like my quality Chardonnay to develop in bottle and am happy to enjoy the mature characteristics of a wine like this, even at the loss of a little youthful freshness. (27 views)
 Tasted by short and confused on 12/7/2014 & rated 93 points: Seems the same as my last go around. This stuff is good. Pale golden yellow. Rich aromas of nectarine, lemon, papaya and cinnamon. Great weight and presence on the palate. White and yellow fruits are present along with some simmering spice and good acidic grip. Clearly not Burgundian but also not Californian. It is really is its own thing. I have had both French and American chardonnays that hit some similar notes but this is not trying to be either. Very good stuff and continuing to drink well. (2021 views)
 Tasted by rs on 6/24/2014 & rated 88 points: Tropical fruits, nuts and some butter. A bit sweet on the palate, maybe the acidity's a bit too low. (2420 views)
 Tasted by joshwoodward on 5/7/2014 & rated 88 points: A little on the unbalanced sweet side. (2615 views)
 Tasted by corkscrews on 3/12/2014 & rated 90 points: Similiar to last note, a very good white, drink now. www.winelx.com (2814 views)
 Tasted by Kento61 on 2/18/2014 & rated 91 points: Excellent chardonnay wine with medium to full body, well balanced oak. Enjoyed with a light cajun spiced shrimp and lobster dish with rice. (2859 views)
 Tasted by LIE-user on 2/8/2014 & rated 92 points: Beautiful colour between yellow and lime.

In the nose fresh caramel, honey melon. In the mouth on the one side a confirmation of the nose, on the other side also acidity comes into the mix now. Very pleasing. Perhaps it could be just a little fresher. Nonetheless really good. (1540 views)
 Tasted by Dr AJ on 9/27/2013 & rated 82 points: Nice wine, but nothing special. Pretty lemon, apple and nectarine fruits, fragrant floral and grassy notes, well-judged oak. Round, soft and fairly full on the palate, but also enough counterbalancing acidity and grip. Good with food, but ultimately fairly uninteresting unaccompanied. (1637 views)
 Tasted by corkscrews on 4/27/2013 & rated 92 points: A bold nose of citrus and spice, golden yellow in color. A full bodied complex Chard, with honey, apple, peach, buttered popcorn, with a long acidic spice finish. A fantastic white, at it’s peak, a great QPR. I met Laura Catena a couple years ago, a great lady and winemaker. www.winelx.com (2364 views)
 Tasted by Sonoffalstaff on 4/9/2013 & rated 91 points: Best value Chardonnay alongside Thelema, if you like complexity and body this is one for you, much lighter in colour than you'd expect given the nose and taste. Last bottle was a tad sweet on the attack but finish was dry enough. A two plus case wine. (2311 views)
 Tasted by short and confused on 3/30/2013 & rated 93 points: Color: pale golden yellow. Nose: rich aromas of nectarine, lemon, papaya and cinnamon. Palate: Great weight and presence on the palate. White and yellow fruits are present along with some simmering spice and good acidic grip. Not Burgundian but also not Californian. It is really is its own thing. I have had both French and American chardonnays that hit some similar notes but this is not trying to be either. Very good stuff and drinking so well right now. (2560 views)
 Tasted by jackaroo on 3/9/2013: I'm a red wine guy, probably 99% red to 1% white, but I thought the Catena was superb. I realize I don't have much of a foundation to build on, but this was the second best Chardonnay I've had, the first being a Mersault Genevrieres from almost thirty years ago. I bought this several years ago based on a WS rating. First Growth Burgundies are a little too rich for my blood, but the Catena is a worthy alternative. (2357 views)
 Tasted by wine strategies on 2/15/2013: PnP served non-blind. I will preface this by saying that I prefer my Chardonnay to come from Burgundy, but...

I recall tasting this at release, side-by-side with the 07. At the time my friend (his wine) preferred the 07 over the 08, but I declared this the better wine. We agreed to disagree. Fast forward several years, and he's now seeing the light (he lamented this was the last bottle from his six pack). This was superb. More new world than old, but with serious polish and an irresistably sultry character. The flavors slightly outshine the aromas, but the aromas are an A-/A, so there you have it. In a really good place right now, brilliant, actually; I wish I had a case. Drink thru 2017, 13,9% abv (2244 views)
 Tasted by Yapdiver on 2/9/2013 & rated 85 points: The wine looks Yellow colored. The legs are Slow. It smells like Melon, and Pineapple. It tastes like Melon, and Pineapple. The body is Light/Medium. The wine has Smooth texture. The wine finishes Medium. (1136 views)
 Tasted by czar33 on 2/2/2013 & rated 89 points: Un peu beurré, rond. Très bon. (1183 views)
 Tasted by bin905 on 1/6/2013 & rated 89 points: Had a very sweet floral and slightly medicinal scent, but was served very warm. We will revisit after chilling. (1258 views)
 Tasted by shallIshantI on 11/12/2012 & rated 90 points: - Light gold color with medium forming legs and aromas of grapefruit. It's balanced and has flavours of melon with a light/medium body. Juicy texture with a medium finish - Good first impressions on the nose. Fragrant and fruity. First taste - sweet. Then more weight develops and the Chardonnay comes through. This is one to enjoy on its own to fully appreciate the winemaker's skill. (1358 views)
 Tasted by pkatz on 11/7/2012 & rated 91 points: Consistent with prior notes. Great buy! (1502 views)
 Tasted by bin905 on 10/22/2012 & rated 91 points: Melon, lemon, pear, tart apple and oyster juice flavor with ample acidity. Well-balanced and interesting with a long finish. (1454 views)
 Tasted by ecola on 7/12/2012 & rated 90 points: I like this better this time than I did a few months ago. I would not normally drink bottles that close together but I think this will go well with a pasta and chicken dish with a cream sauce for dinner tonight. The acidity is still here along with a little caramel and green apple. Vanilla is present but there is also a pineapple quality that I really am enjoying. Long finish with acidity creeping in again. (2126 views)
 Tasted by Reiagnelo on 6/5/2012 & rated 90 points: good wine, with no persistence, balanced, light and clear, citric fruits, complexity, maybe improve with evolution. RA = 90 (2230 views)
 Tasted by joshwoodward on 5/14/2012 & rated 90 points: Pnp. Delicious, great acid, almost kinetic. Slight bitterness on the finish, hint of sweetness. Lemon fruit, balanced oak. (2229 views)
 Tasted by lembkes on 5/8/2012 & rated 90 points: - klar halmfärgad utseende med medelhög intensitet
- ren något utvecklad fruktig doft medelhög intensitet och rostade fat med insalg av citrus, smör anannas och kaffe
- torr medelfyllig fruktig smak med balanserade syror och rostade fat med inslag av citron, smör och apelsin (2054 views)
 Tasted by mn47 on 5/5/2012 & rated 80 points: Un nom prestigieux, mais un vin unidimensionnel. À ce prix, quelle déception! (2097 views)
 Tasted by AlanM68 on 4/9/2012 & rated 90 points: Drinking well right now and will go on doing so through 2014-15. Tastes of pineapple to me. (2295 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, March 2011
(Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay Catena Alta Mendoza) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, Mar-11, IWC Issue #6300004 (3/1/2011)
(Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay Catena Alta Mendoza) Subscribe to see review text.
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, January/February 2011, IWC Issue #154
(Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay Catena Alta Mendoza) Subscribe to see review text.
By Gary Vaynerchuk
Wine Library TV, Laura Catena from Bodega Catena Zapata, Episode #929 (10/8/2010)
(Catena Alta Chardonnay) #1; COLOR-golden; NOSE-nice minerality (flint and blue rock); a smokiness and creaminess from the oak; a mix of Macon with a little CA love; some citrus as well; PALATE-great weight; really nice full bodied on the palate; heavy white peach flavors; really well made; great length; very fresh; a very long finish with vanilla and apple flavors; finishes like a $60 White Burgundy; great quality fruit coming through; GV-No Score
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and Wine Library TV. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Bodega Catena Zapata

Producer website
Bodega Catena Zapata is one of Argentina's high altitude Malbec pioneers. The Catena family began making wine in Mendoza in 1902. Nicolas Catena, third generation family vintner, was one of the first to see the potential of
Mendoza's mountain vineyards for producing high quality Malbec. In 1994, he became the first Argentine to export a world-class bottling of Malbec under the Catena label. Nicolas is joined by his daughter, Dr. Laura Catena,
in their relentless pursuit of world-class quality from the family's high altitude vineyards. Laura has done extensive work in introducing Malbec and other varietal plant selections, soil and climate analysis, and sustainable practices
throughout Mendoza. Head winemaker, Alejandro Vigil, has been at Catena Zapata since 2002 and works with Laura and Nicolas to make wines that express the family's vineyards and palate.

2008 Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay Catena Alta

From Producers website
At almost 5,000 feet elevation in the Andean foothills, the Adrianna vineyard's pebble covered soils and cool climate are ideal for growing Chardonnay. The fruit from the Adrianna vineyard has a purity of flavors and a minerality that is particular to this vineyard and can not be found anywhere else in Mendoza.
Catena Alta Chardonnay is made from a special lot, rows 5 through 38, of the Adrianna vineyard. This wine undergoes a demanding selection process in both the vineyard and the winery.
Catena Alta Chardonnay is sourced from small, carefully selected estate-grown lots in two of the Catena family’ Andean vineyards: Adrianna vineyard (80%) and Domingo vineyard (20%). The blend of these historic lots, like the marriage of sounds that create a symphony, yields a highly aromatic and elegant wine that speaks for the earth and the vines that have been tended by the Catenas for four generations.
The 2008 Catena Alta Chardonnay has a greenish-yellow color. The nose shows a bright mixture of citrus fruit interwoven with honeyed stone fruit notes and floral tones. The mouthfeel is rich and concentrated, showing ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of sweet nutmeg spice. The finish shows bright, clean acidity and wonderful length.
The whole cluster is pressed, and then 100% barrel fermented in French oak (50% new) with natural yeasts at low temperatures and aged for 12-16 months.
2008 was an outstanding vintage. The growing season began warmer than usual. The conditions were also exceptionally dry. This caused the physiological ripening of sugars to accelerate but the phonologic ripening of polyphenols to slow down. In late January, some precipitation moved in which lowered temperatures and brought the physiologic and phenologic ripening processes back in sync. It was a vintage which started warm and ended cool.
Extreme high altitude cold climate vineyards with shallow- sandy soils and surface stones that impart minerality and ageability. 80% Adrianna Vineyard, Lot 1, 48550’ elevation, 20% Domingo Vineyard, Lot 7, 3,770’ elevation.
Alejandro Vigil
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 14%
Total acidity: 6.0
PH: 3.28
Residual Sugar: 4.5 g/l
Appellation: Mendoza, Argentina


Chardonnay on Appellation America


Wines of Argentina

Argentina has been making wine since the 1500s, tracing its wine heritage back to Spain, France and, perhaps surprisingly, Italy. Italian immigration is second only to Spanish in Argentine culture, and the flavors of Italy show up strongly in the nation’s wine, food and cultural tradition. Historically, Argentina has kept much of its wine consumption at home, drinking most of the wine it makes. But we are now seeing more very serious Argentine wines north of the border, and Malbec is leading the movement. The wine-making region in Argentina ranges between the 22° and 42° South latitude. It spreads at the foothills of the Andean mountain range along over 2,400 km; from the province of Salta to the province of Río Negro, with a variety of climates and soils that makes each region a unique land. In general terms, the areas dedicated to vine cultivation are dry and arid with a low level of rain and humidity, determining factor as regards grape health. Abundant sunny days and thermal amplitude favor a good maturity and concentration of aroma and color in the grain. Soils are deep, permeable and poor in organic matter, decisive qualities at the time of obtaining good wine. Due to the low rain regime, irrigation is necessary. Water comes from the Andean range thaw, descending in the shape of rivers to become channels or ditches. Undoubtedly, the combination of these factors turns Argentina into a veritable oasis for the highest quality wine-making. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go. Wine-making in Argentina, at the level that it achieves today, has a young history that goes back to a little more than 10 years ago. Technological progress, investment and some farsighted businessmen enabled a determining transformation. The province of Mendoza is the most traditional area in the viticultural industry, and is diverse enough to be divided into zones, according to their significantly different weather, height and soil characteristics. These include the Northern Zone, which is suitable for fruity whites and young reds, at a height from 600 to 700m; the Eastern Zone, with a height ranging from 600 to 700m, and the most productive zone in the province; the Uco Valley, a zone of colder weather and higher altitudes (between 800 and 1,400m over sea level); San Rafael, with heights ranging from 450 to 800m; and the High Zone of the Mendoza River, with heights ranging from 800 to 1,100m over sea level and various microclimates, this is the zone where almost all noble varieties have easily become adapted. It is a region that is remarkably well-suited to vine culture, protected from the Pacific’s cooling influence by the Andes and enjoying a long summer of cool nights and warm days, with a dry summer climate but plenty of water available from the region’s rivers. Malbec in particular is outstanding from this area, and it has clearly emerged as the star, the darling of both consumers and critics.


Wines of Mendoza

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