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2018 Nicolás Catena Zapata

2018 Nicolás Catena Zapata

Producer: Catena

Region: Valle de Uco, Mendoza

Country: Argentina

Grapes: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Malbec

Vintage: 2018

ABV: 13.90%

Vivino: 4.4
Drink By: 2036

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Occasional Wine Note: Over the pandemic we tasted with friends just about every Sunday where we rotated houses, varietals, and/or regions. Cabernets comprise our absolute favorite wines so even on days where the host would choose another varietal, we would try to bring one that had some level of cabernet in the blend.


On the occasion that Malbec was the call, this was the wine we brought and it was the best wine of the tasting by a good margin, and it was not necessarily due to the cabernet content. Catena Zapata is one of the most well-known and respected wine makers in Argentina and this wine is a fantastic representation of the quality, flavor, and longevity you get from the Mendoza region of Argentina.

  • Wine Advocate

    Critic Score: 96

    The 2018 Nicolás Catena Zapata was produced with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon from Gualtallary (Adrianna vineyard, with the Cabernet Sauvignon interplanted with some Cabernet Franc) and 35% Malbec from Altamira (Nicasia vineyard). They no longer use grapes from Agrelo, and this is also a lot higher in Malbec than in other recent vintages.

    So, it has a very different profile, a charge that started in 2017, with more contained ripeness and more freshness, and the wine is intense, keeping some of the Cabernet character (tobacco, blackberries) and the floral notes from Malbec. It comes through as balanced and harmonious, with very fine tannins and a long finish and perfect ripeness. This aims to revive the style of Bordeaux before phylloxera, from massal selection of ungrafted vines. 

  • Descorchados

    Critic Score: 95

    The high-altitude fruit has lent nerve and vibrant red fruits to this red blend, this fruity cabernet that's direct in its expression, while the malbec provides that soft sweetness. A red to cellar for at least five years.

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