2005 Catena "Alta" Malbec Mendoza, Argentina

SKU #1039582

93 points from the Wine Spectator: "Very concentrated, with dark fig and currant paste notes, but it’s also pure and driven, with intense mocha, bittersweet cocoa and melted licorice notes that stretch out the long, polished finish. Really gorgeous for its density and mouthfeel. Drink now through 2013." (11/08) The 2004 Catena Alta received 93 points from the Spectator, and this new vintage will likely follow a similar path, though by the time it is rated well into the 90s it will be sold out! Catena "Alta" Malbec is sourced from Lot 18 of the Angélica vineyard, located in Lunlunta (2,850’ elevation), Lot 4 from the La Pirámide vineyard, located in Agrelo (3,100’ elevation), Lot 2 from the La Consulta vineyard, located in La Consulta (3,000’ elevation), and Lots 3 & 9 from the Adrianna vineyard, located in Gualtallary (4,725’ & 4,600’ elevations). This wine undergoes a demanding selection process in both the vineyard and the winery, and it shows. Tremendous depth and concentration in this elegant red, which is Bordeaux like in complexity and ageability.

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Price: $49.99

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Varietal:

Malbec

- These days if you're drinking a Malbec it's probably from Argentina. The most planted grape in that country, varietally-labeled Argentine Malbecs are one of the wine market's great values, prized for their slight herbal component and dark, luscious fruit. Structurally, Argentina's Malbecs are much different than those grown in the grape's native France; they are riper, fruitier and fleshier. In France, the best iterations of Malbec can be found in the Cahors, where it can be quite decadent. It is also planted in the Loire Valley, where it is called Côt and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Gamay, and in Bordeaux, where it has fallen from favor in many of the region's great blends because it is difficult to grow. In the United States, the varietal is frequently added to Meritage wines - Bordeaux style blends - but it is rarely found on its own.
Country:

Argentina

- Argentina is regarded as one of the most dynamic wine-producing nations in the world, and possibly the most important wine-producing region in South America. Only four countries in the world produce more wine than Argentina. Considerable investments (much of which has come from famous French, Italian and California wine producers) have been made in new vineyards and winemaking technology in the past several years, which along with recent plantings of more premium varieties of grapes, has made Argentina much more competitive internationally. The Mendoza region is the most important region in Argentina's wine industry. And Malbec, among other Bordeaux varietals grown here, reigns supreme. Click for a list of bestselling items from Argentina.