Bodega Catena Zapata is the oldest Argentinian family winery, producing under family ownership since 1902. The winery is credited with making Argentina synonymous with malbec, though it also produces a wide range of international varietals. Today we look at three wines produced by the fourth generation of Zapata — all of which were sampled from Tubes miniatures. Read on for more.
2019 Catena Zapata Malbec Nicasia Vineyard – Heavy, quite jammy, almost doughy at times. Dark fruits with a somewhat blunt spice note dominate, the finish seeing a slight squeeze of acidic orange peel and a hint of mint, but not enough to elevate this wine out of relative immaturity. I’d put this in cellar for at least three more years to let its more exuberant fruit notes settle down. It’s surprising to see the price on this one. B / $110
2020 Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino Mendoza – Some refreshing acidity helps to give this lightly herbal, mint-laced wine a solid balance, the notes of red and black fruit and a touch of beef tallow working well alongside some bright greenery and a eucalyptus finish. It’s vibrant and crisp for a long while, and while the wine is on the sweeter side, it doesn’t ever approach jamminess, riding a wave of gentle tannin into the finish. Best in the bunch. A- / $120
2019 Catena Zapata Malbec Catena Alta Historic Rows – An interesting middle ground between the two above wines, earthy and tannic but packed with fruit elements — leaning more toward strawberry, with a raspberry kicker. A slight note of cookie dough gives the finish on this wine a more blunt sweetness, but it never feels unwelcome, particularly with the light florals that ride alongside. B+ / $50