Catena Alta Malbec 2012

In the mid-nineties, in an effort to produce a super-premium wine, the winemaking team of Catena began an in-depth investigation into the yields from specially selected, high altitude vineyards, identifying the individual rows that produce the best fruit. Catena Alta is an assemblage of these historic rows within the Catena family’s estate vineyards. The blend of these rows, like the blend of musical notes that compose a symphony, creates a wine that is layered and complex, concentrated yet nuanced.

Nicola Catena planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza in 1902. His grandson, Nicolás Catena, is known as the man who revolutionized Argentine wine and introduced high altitude Malbec to the world. The historic Catena Zapata vineyards are planted with the Catena family’s proprietary selection of Malbec vines: the Catena Cuttings. Catena Alta Malbec is sourced from Block 18 of the Angélica Vineyard in Lunlunta, Block 4 of the La Pirámide Vineyard in Agrelo, Block 1 of the Nicasia Vineyard in the Altamira district of San Carlos and Blocks 3 & 9 of the Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary. 

Tasting Notes

Catena Alta Malbec is deep violet in color with indigo highlights. The nose has aromas of ripe red and black berry fruits with notes of violets and lavender and hints of leather and a touch of spices. The wine is full-bodied and rich, with sweet tannins and a smooth structure, offering multiple layers of of blackberries and black currant with hints of licorice, vanilla, and black pepper. This wine's lengthy finish shows beautiful minerality with fine tannins and lively acidity.

Food Pairing

This Malbec would be absolutely wonderful with a variety of grilled meats but especially with more full-flavored dishes like Barbecued Leg of Lamb or Roasted Baby Goat.

Production Info
Vineyard name
The Angélica, La Pirámide, Nicasia and Adrianna vineyards
Vineyard size
N/A acres
Soil composition
Sandy-Loam
Training method
VSP
Elevation
3,018-4,757 feet
Vines/acre
2200
Yield/acre
1.2 ton tons
Exposure
Northwestern
Harvest time
March - April
First vintage of this wine
1996
Winemaking & Aging
Varietal composition
100% Malbec
Fermentation container
Small format fermentation, French oak barrels, stainless steel tanks
Age of Aging Container
70% New
Length of alcoholic fermentation
10 - 35 days
Fermentation temperature
80 °F
Maceration technique
Manual Punching Down
Malolactic fermentation
Yes
Type of aging container
Barriques
Length of bottle aging
24 months
Size of aging container
225 L
Type of oak
French oak
Length of aging before bottling
18 months
Analytical Data
Alcohol
14 %
pH level
3.7
Residual sugar
1.8 g/L
Acidity
5.6 g/L

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