This family estate, in a constant quest for excellence, exprienced a new boom when it was taken over by Nicolás Catena Zapata in the 1960s. With the wish to revolutionise production methods for Argentine wines, Nicolás Catena Zapata is inspired by the vinification of Napa Valley wines and is revealing new, high-altitude terroirs to magnify the expression of the grape varieties.
Nicknamed "South America’s Grand Cru", Bodega Catena Zapata is a renowned international reference, recognised by critics for the finesse and elegance of its wines.
The Nicolas 2018 cuvée by Catena Zapata is produced from a selection of the best vines from two Uco Valley vineyards: Adrianna and Nicasia. Culminating at an altitude of 1450 metres and covering 12 hectares, the Adrianna vineyard is made up of a limestone soil with gravel. The Nicasa vineyard is located at 1095 metres above sea level and covers 9 hectares of soils made up of gravel and sand.
Having been produced since the 1997 vintage, Nicolas by Catena Zapata is the first high-quality Argentine wine to have been exported worldwide. Produced from pre-phylloxeric massal selections of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this exceptional wine recreates the "Original Bordeaux Blend" of the 18th and 19th centuries, a time period during which vineyards in the Médoc were mainly made up of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Locally nicknamed "El Año Mendocino" (the year of Mendoza), the 2018 vintage in Argentina follows a cool 2017 vintage denominated "El Año Bordelés" (the year of Bordeaux) and 2016, a rainy and cool year denominated "El Año Bourguignon" (the year of Burgundy). Although summer 2017 began with high temperatures, the months of harvest (February, March and April) were marked by dry and relatively cool conditions.
Winemaking and ageing
Manually harvested, the grapes are subject, for some plots, to a fermentation in whole bunches to develop the tannic structure as well as preserve freshness. Fermentation in 500-litre oak barrels and thermoregulated concrete and steel vats for around 10-15 days. Post-fermentation maceration lasts for 5 to 10 days. Following malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.
Nicolas 2018 by the bodega Catena Zapata is made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%) and Malbec (35%).
This vintage seduces with its balance between the fruit and the naturally occurring acidity, its beautiful aromatic expression and its supple tannins.