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CATENA CATENA - Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Malbec River Stones - 2014

CATENA Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Malbec River Stones 2014

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96 Points

At 1366 metres above sea level, extreme high altitude 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 1992 in hopes of finding the coolest site in Mendoza where wines would grow. The Winkler classification, a method developed in California to track the degree days at which the vine grows, places Adrianna between zone 1 and 2, equivalent to 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 alcohol makes Adrianna an ideal vineyard site. Fortuna Terrae, or luck of the land aptly describes this 5-hectare parcel Adrianna Vineyard where the deep soils support numerous species of native vegetation that in turn attract beneficial insects, birds and foxes that provide balance to the site. I love the freshness of this aromatic red wine that fully supports the silky, dense, sweet tannins that never quit on the palate. The balance is as impeccable as the fruit, and despite its power, it has a fun, juicy, feel in the mouth. Drink now with a T-bone steak or hold a decade or two because it will cellar effortlessly.

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.