Our Wine Wednesdays, include one *free sample from each of our hand selected fine wine features (up to four wines). This week we are so very pleased to pour the wines of Bodega Catena Zapata & Bodega Weinert, two absolute icons in Argentine wine production.
The Catena wines are a special assemblage of High Mountain Estate Vineyards made by fourth generation vintner, Laura Catena and chief winemaker, Alejandro Vigil. Although we have found that most of the Catena wines are consumed shortly after release, we are pleased to see that they age beautifully for ten to twenty years. Through decades of study and exploration within Mendoza’s high altitude mountain terroirs, the Catena family has identified special locations for its Estate vineyards. A Blend of Four Vineyards – vineyards are divided into lots that are harvested at different times. Whole cluster pressed; fermented, sur lies, in barrels and stainless steel. Wild yeasts. Elevage: 10 months in French oak. Barrel selection varies depending on vineyard and vintage – First, second and third use barrels used. 40% does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Bright lemon-yellow color. Pure aromas and flavors of peach and flowers. Fat and even slightly warm on entry but supported by a solid spine of acidity.
Catena Vista Flores Malbec
(from clay, sand and rocky parcels): Bright ruby-red. Floral, high-pitched, penetrating scents of blackberry, violet and menthol. Quite penetrating and dry on the palate; at once more medicinal and more angular than the Appellation La Consulta wine with but lovely floral lift. In the rather serious style of a northern Rhône wine and in need of another year of patience. Finishes broad and dusty, with firm tannins, strong berry fruit and little in the way of easy sweetness.
Cavas de Weinert Carrascal Red
Founded in 1975, Bodega y Cavas de Weinert is emblematic of the European cultural heritage of Argentine viticulture.Since its first vintage in 1977, Bodegas Weinert has maintained a strict commitment to producing only high-quality wines and is recognized around the world as an icon of Argentine elegance and style. Vine age ranges from 25 to 100 years old. This is perhaps the most traditionally made red wine in Argentina. A blend of 45% Malbec, 35% Merlot and 20% Cabernet, this is a aged, dark-black-fruited wine, with an excellent sense of individuality and style. Interestingly, the Cab and Merlot seem to stand out much more so than the Malbec in this year’s bottling. Fermented in concrete and then aged in used Nevers oak, this is a distinctive wine that’s very much its own thing – not much to do with what’s going on in Mendoza right now. We love Weinert’s wines for their intense fruit, earthy savor, and complete lack of new oak influence. While you could compare this to the likes of Heitz, Lopez de Heredia, or Chateau Musar – all wineries with similarly strong, old school convictions – Weinert is a true Argentine original. Dark blackish ruby with lots of evolution at the rim. Heady combination of liquorice and Fishermen’s Friend menthol on the nose. Sweet and rounded on the palate with none of the sassy aggression of a typical 2010 Mendoza Malbec. Really very distinctive with a gentle smoky, charry finish and lots of mellow fruit.
Bodega Aleanna El Enemigo Cabernet Franc
92% Cabernet Franc + 8% Malbec. El Enemigo (The Enemy): At the end of the journey, we remember only one battle. The one we fought against ourselves, the original enemy. The one that defined us. Two romantics, a winemaker (Alejandro Vigil), and a historian (Adrianna Catena) – go back in time to capture an era when European imigrants recently settled in Argentina, sought to make wines as fine, and finer than those of their homelands. Adrianna Catena grew up drinking Old-World Bordeaux with her father. She will never forget the first time dad got a shipment of wine from France, and opened a bottle of Cheval Blanc for her. Alejandro Vigil served Angelica Zapata Cabernet Franc at his wedding. It’s as if both Alejandro and Adrianna were born with a taste for the peppery aromas, grainy tannins and freshness of this variety. The grapes are sourced from Gualtallary, limestone soils, round rocks and extreme high altitude – ideal for making a wine of elegance and ageability. Full, dark red. Aromas of black cherry, licorice, menthol and spicy oak. Densely packed and very fine-grained; less sweet and delineated than the Malbec, but more chocolatey, plush and generous. Nicely fat wine–quite full for its moderate octane level–with substantial early appeal and no tough tannins to stand in the way of enjoying it now.
*tasting free with purchase of $10 or more per guest