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Argentina

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CSV
Region Vintage Name Qty Unit Case Size Format Price Note Rating
Argentina 2009 Catena Zapata, Nicolas Catena Zapata 1 Case 6 75cl £570
  • Rating

    95

    Release Price

    $135

    Drink Date

    2014 - 2035

    Reviewed by

    Neal Martin

    Issue Date

    31st Oct 2012

    Source

    203, The Wine Advocate

    The 2009 Zapata is from selected vines marked by a red sash in order to raise the wine with meticulous care. It is 10% whole cluster and 90% whole berry fruit that is aged in 80% new French oak for 24 months. It is pieced together from a mind-boggling 210 separate row micro-vinifications of multifarious lots and harvest times and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Malbec. It has a spellbinding bouquet that exudes minerality, as if crushed stones had been sprinkled into the black fruit. With continued aeration, there are scents of oyster shell and black olive. The palate is full-bodied, with immense structure and backbone. The acidity is beautifully judged with filigree tannins that render the finish so elegant and refined, with notes of blackberry, soy, black plum and that stony aftertaste. Magnificent. Drink 2014-2035. There is no need to introduce Catena Zapata. I visited the winery, which stands like an Egyptian pyramid looking for its sphynx, and spent the entire morning darting from one room to another tasting the entire portfolio of wines from the family. Naturally, it was an honor to meet Nicolas Catena himself, who has been instrumental in Argentina’s progress over the last three decades (see video). But what is pleasing is to find such a famous winery refusing to rest upon its laurels and in fact, through the irrepressible head winemaker Alejandro Vigil, a man who patently contemplates wines 24/7, Catena Zapata are looking forward and asking themselves questions about the style of wines they produce, what ought to be the next stage of their evolution, instead of merely replicating previous successes. Nothing exemplifies that more than the premium wines. Several years ago, it was 100% or even 200% new oak by rote. Nowadays, more consideration towards harmonizing the level of new oak to the fruit and the character of the wine has meant that it has been dialed down to 60%. Speaking to Alejandro, he might reduce it even further, but of course, it should depend upon what is best for the wine. In addition, there has been a revision in their approach to malolactic fermentation, as attested by their Chardonnays, the length of skin maceration (reduced from 30 to around 22 or 23 days) and more experimentation with whole cluster ferments and co-fermenting with white grape varieties. Anything is possible. 

Tasting Notes
95
Argentina 2016 Zuccardi Piedra Infinita 1 Case 3 75cl £325
  • Rating 100

    Drink Date 2019 - 2036

    Reviewed by  Luis Gutiérrez

    Issue Date 31st Oct 2019

    Source Issue 245 End of October 2019, The Wine Advocate

    I was blown away by the 2016 Finca Piedra Infinita, a wine I have been anticipating because I’ve seen the progression of the wine over the last few years. They use almost 40 different components to make this wine from small plots within the vineyard, especially the soils they call "supercalcáreo" (super limestone). The other type of soil they use is what they call "gravas calcáreas" (limestone gravels), and they don’t use any of the grapes from the deeper soils that go into the Q range. The wine has reached a stratospheric level of precision, symmetry and elegance in 2016 that is really captivating. Everything seems to be in its place; there is great harmony, the aromatics are clean and pure and the texture is like liquid chalk. There is power and elegance, energy and finesse. This is a really outstanding wine that summarizes the hard work at Zuccardi in the last few years. Bravo! 6,400 bottles were filled in February 2017.

    Zuccardi keeps working the origin of their wines, aiming to show the place in their wines while looking for balance. They're also simplifying things, doing less in the winery and more in the vineyards. I tasted 2016, a cool and wet year when they learned a lot: the wines have less alcohol and are better in the Valle de Uco than in the classical zone of Mendoza. For Zuccardi, it might be their finest vintage to date, where the top of the range really excels; the Finca Piedra Infinita really blew me away. 2017 was warmer and, together with 2016, very low yielding. 2018 was cooler than 2017; the wines are fresher, and it's a more homogeneous year. Most people talk about a classical Mendoza vintage. I didn't taste anything from the 2019 vintage, which was dry and cool (with temperatures almost as cold as 2016)—something unusual, as the vintages tend to be warm and dry or cold and wet. So, let's wait for the 2019s, but in the meantime, there are some exceptional wines in the current offering.

Tasting Notes
100
Argentina 2019 Zuccardi Fosil Chardonnay 3 Case 6 75cl £205
  • “Complex and intriguing, the 2019 Fósil Zuccardi has a powerful texture in the mouth and sustained flavor with heightened but contained freshness that comes in with a kick at the end. This white, Sebastian Zuccardi’s best, is influenced by the wines of Burgundy.”

    Joaquin Hidalgo, Vinous, June 2020

Tasting Notes
95
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