2013 ‘River Stones’ Malbec, Vino da Parcela, Adrianna Vineyard, Catena Zapata

2013 ‘River Stones’ Malbec, Vino da Parcela, Adrianna Vineyard, Catena Zapata
‘Anything wearing the Catena name is guaranteed to deliver what the label says: grape, vintage and place. Why can't all large producers be like Catena?’ Luis Guitterez, The Wine Advocate, erobertparker.com, August 2015.
Catena Zapata is an estate that fascinates me – the Catena family have an unerring knack of producing single parcel wines of simply stunning quality. Please see below for our offer of the 2013 ‘River Stones’ Malbec, Vino da Parcela, Adrianna Vineyard, Catena Zapata at £185 per 3 bottle case in bond.
Catena Zapata, based in Mendoza, has started crafting various single parcel wines from within the Adrianna Vineyard - perhaps their most impressive holding - which is situated in the Gualtallary district in the Uco Valley.  For those who may be familiar with our other offers from this headlining producer, ‘River Stones’ Malbec is sourced from the stonier part of the vineyard, the area from which the fruit for their ‘White Stones’ Chardonnay is also sourced. The name alludes to the fact that the ground here is covered with small, oval white stones which can influence temperature by absorbing heat during the day to moderate cold nights, or conversely can offer a cooling affect if subjected to low night time temperatures.  This latter trait, combined with the whopping 4,482 feet altitude at which this vineyard lies, aids aroma retention and thus the Malbec from this site shows a terrific aromatic profile. It is little wonder that the wines produced from this vineyard are so individual.
I first tasted the inaugural vintage of River Stones with Laura Catena last year and while I expect great things from this high-class producer, I was seriously impressed that they had added another highly individual ‘Vino da Parcela’ to their range to complement the Fortuna Terrae and Mundus Bacillus Terrae Malbec that we offered last year. Catena is a trailblazer and wines like this are simply not to be missed.
The ‘River Stones’ is co-fermented with a small percentage of Viognier, in the same way that Northern Rhône growers traditionally incorporate a small proportion of this aromatic variety in order to lift aromatics of their Syrah. The 2013 River Stones is a deep, mouth-filling wine with bright, vibrant damson and dark cherry fruit. There is a lifted aromatic quality present throughout, with an almost citrus/ peachy blossom character providing complexity, which reminds me of a character I find in Guigal’s Côte Rôtie La Mouline.  As you come to expect of a top-end Catena Malbec, this is a sleek, finely-honed style with no hard-edges or headiness. Gloriously persistent, I cannot help thinking that these pioneering single parcel wines deserve more attention than they are currently receiving. It is enjoyable in its current youthful form but will easily reward six to ten years of cellarage, though this is by no means a prerequisite.
Please see Luis Guittierez’s note from The Wine Advocate below which also highlights the individuality of this impressive Malbec.
2013 ‘River Stones’ Malbec, Vino da Parcela, Adrianna Vineyard, Catena Zapata
£185 per 3 bottle case in bond
98 points, Luis Guitierrez
There are three separate bottlings from the Adrianna vineyard, one of them the 2013 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones, sourced from the stonier part, close to the dry river, the equivalent to the White Stones white, with a north-facing exposure, the warmer exposure, which in cooler years like 2013 works nicely. This has the combination of power and elegance, of flowers and fruit, minerality and spice, precise, focused, harmonious, all about finesse. This seems to be the one that worked better with the cool year. 2,000 bottles produced. I was shown some 20+ wines blind while visiting the Catena Institute and I could immediately find this wine even if I had only tasted it a couple of times before. Such is the strong personality of this wine...
If you are familiar with the quality that Catena’s greatest wines offer, I would urge you to secure a three-bottle case, and note that only a limited number of cases are available to us. Stock will be available for delivery from the end of July.
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