97 Points- James Suckling
95 Points - Robert Parker
94 Points - Decanter
93 Points - Vinous
Very deep and dark with enormous concentration but also a lot of finesse. There’s some toast and chocolate from oak, as well as great freshness. Stunning harmony and a very long finish that tells a totally fascinating story. A blend of 73% cabernet sauvignon and 27% malbec. Drink in 2020.
Named after the winery's owner, the 2014 Nicolás Catena Zapata is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec that has been produced since 1997. They use grapes from Nicasia, Adrianna and La Pirámide vineyards, mixing grapes from Valle de Uco and Luján de Cuyo. The blend varies slightly with the year, and in 2014 it is 73% Cabernet and 27% Malbec. It fermented in 225- and 500-liter oak barrels and saw 24 months in barrique. It has developed aromas and feels polished while showing elegance and very classical proportions. 62,400 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2016.
-- Robert Parker
Made with the fruit from three vineyards: La Pirámide in Agrelo, Adrianna in Gualtallary, and Nicasia in Altamira. It has a ripe nose of black cherry and dark chocolate, with fine-grained tannins on amineral-drenched mid-palate and notes of cocoa nib and violets. An elegant finish.
Bright, dark ruby-red. Reticent aromas of blackcurrant, blueberry, licorice and spicy oak are a bit less expressive than those of the 2015 bottling. Impressively rich, pliant and sweet but with excellent vinosity too. A bit more muscular than the 2015 version, as much saline as sweet, with its substantial tannins saturating the entire palate and building. This will take at least a few more years to deliver on its inherent complexity.
French oak barrels for 24 months
“It strikes me as being Argentina's equivalent of a great vintage of Lafite-Rothschild”
The inaugural 1997 vintage of this Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend set a new standard of quality for wines from South America when it won a series of blind tastings against other prestigious cuvées from around the world. Nicolás Catena Zapata is made from a plant-by-plant selection of historic rows in the Catena Zapata vineyards.
The wine is made from over 200 separate microvinifications representing different rows, altitudes, and harvest times. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. It is only produced in outstanding vintage years.
Nicolás Catena Zapata has an intense, deep purple color with bluish-black tones. On the nose, aromas of black fruits – blackberries, black cherries, black plums – predominate with subtle notes of vanilla and dark chocolate intermingled with savory hints of green olive and a stony minerality. On the palate, the wine is tremendously complex, unfolding layer upon layer of red currant, eucalyptus, and black pepper flavors . Black cherries and blackberries give way to cassis followed by a hint of saline minerality. The wine is remarkably concentrated with a firm tannic structure providing the backbone for the lush fruit. The finish is long, a foretoken of the long aging potential of this Argentine masterpiece.
The Catena family’s vision has been to uncover those magical places in each of the family’s vineyards that offer the purest expression of the land. Farming these special lots manually, hand-tending each of the vines, has led to the identification of individual plants which consistently produce the most exceptional fruit. These Zapata vines have been physically marked with a red sash, ensuring the most demanding attention to detail in their care. Harvested separately in multiple passes through the vineyard, the grapes are then loaded by hand into French oak barrels for a long, cool fermentation with cap management being done by hand. Over 200 separate micro-fermentations are done, separated by different lots and harvest times. The inaugural 1997 vintage of this Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend set a new standard of quality for wines from South America when it won a series of blind tasting against First Growth Bordeaux and other prestigious cuvées from around the world.
Let the Nicolás Catena Zapata open in a decanter while you grill a Bone-in Ribeye Steak to perfection. Pour yourself a glass. Bliss.