Wine Spectator 90 points - Compact, with well-integrated acidity supporting the layers of pineapple, green plum and chalk that unfold with spice and licorice on the fine finish. Drink now. 1,400 cases imported. –NW
(Oct 15 2013)
Wine Advocate 92 points - The 2011 Catena Alta Chardonnay is sourced from the Adrianna (Gualtallary), and Domingo (named after Nicolas Catena’s father, and is located in Villa Bastias in Tupungato at 1,120 meters altitude) vineyards. Despite 2011 being cooler the wine is 14% alcohol, riper and fresher (Acidity (grams/liter) 7.30, pH: 3.22). They always use the same vineyards and the same part of the vineyards for the Alta range, mostly from Adrianna and a little from Domingo. This is golden-colored, and a little more tropical, more marked by the oak, with a toasty and somehow honeyed character already developing (some 6-7% of the grapes developed botrytis). The palate is medium-bodied and round, with a pleasant bitter finish. More exuberant, rounder. Drink 2014-2019.
At almost 5,000 feet elevation in the Andean foothills, the Adrianna vineyard's pebble covered soils and cool climate are ideal for growing Chardonnay. The fruit from the Adrianna vineyard has a purity of flavors and a minerality that is particular to this vineyard and can not be found anywhere else in Mendoza.
Catena Alta Chardonnay is made from a special lot, rows 5 through 38, of the Adrianna vineyard. This wine undergoes a demanding selection process in both the vineyard and the winery.
|Over the past 20 years, Nicolás and Laura Catena and their vineyard management team have worked tirelessly in the discovery, identification and development of key microclimates in the high altitude wine country of Mendoza, Argentina. Nicolás Catena has planted an almost countless number of varietals and clones throughout his mountain vineyard sites.
This quest for quality lead Nicolás and Laura Catena to a crucial discovery regarding the influence of altitude on grape cultivation in Mendoza. Observing the important differences in soil types, average temperatures and thermal amplitudes that exist at varying altitudes, he found that vineyard sites which are just a few kilometers apart can have vast differences in altitude and possess remarkably different microclimates.
Over the years, the in depth study of these different microclimates led Nicolás to determine that the same varietal, and even the same clone, presented distinct aromatic and flavor profiles when cultivated in each of these unique microclimates. Implementing the age old art of assemblage, he found that by blending these different lots of the same varietal, he could achieve a more complex wine.