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CATENA CATENA - Zapata Adrianna Mundus Bacillus Terrae - 2014

CATENA Zapata Adrianna Mundus Bacillus Terrae 2014

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97 Points

Extreme high altitude, 1366 metres above sea level, best describes Adrianna Vineyard, now perhaps the wine world’s most studied piece of dirt. Nicolás Catena Zapata planted the Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary in hopes of finding the coolest site in Mendoza where wines would grow. The Winkler classification, a method developed in California to track degree days at which the vine grows, places Adrianna between zone 1 and 2, or somewhere between Burgundy and a very cool part of Bordeaux. Undaunted, the Catena family planted the Adrianna Vineyard with cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay cuttings from France, and Malbec taken from Lot 18 of their 75-year-old Angélica vineyard. Over time, the cabernet proved to be less interesting but the malbec and chardonnay excelled in minerality, density, weight and mouthfeel. Plenty of sunlight, slow ripening, and lower potential alcohols makes Adrianna an ideal vineyard site. The Mundus Bacillus ’14 comes off a 1.4-hectare parcel at 1390 metres altitude, riddled with limestone and marine deposits that date back millions of years ago. The well-drained limestone layers are particularly rich in rhizobacteria or microorganisms said to embolden vine roots from stress, allowing them to absorb nutrients, hence "mundus bacillus terrae" or "elegant microbes of the earth." The style is reserved and tight-fisted. The deep rock beds yield a dusty, stony, floral, mineral, red wine with extreme elegance. Higher acidity and an embarrassment of tannins combine to suggest this wine will have a very long life. Already complex, it can only get better. Bravo.

October 2018

About Gismondi on Wine

Anthony Gismondi is one of North America's most influential wine critics. Both a writer and broadcaster he is currently in his 25th year as wine columnist at the Vancouver Sun where his twice weekly wine columns and videos are seen by one million readers a week. His comprehensive and busy wine review features over 20,000 tasting notes and attracts over a half million visitors a month from some 70 countries. He is also the co-host of the longest running, weekly, wine and food show in Canadian radio: The Best of Food and Wine. The show airs in prime time every Thursday evening from 6-7pm Pacific on CISL 650am.