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2018 Catena Zapata "DV Catena - Tinto Histórico" Red Blend Mendoza

SKU #1537168 94 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Wonderful aromas of dried strawberries, flowers and lemons. Full-bodied with a lovely, fluid center palate that is sweetly fruity and a long, long finish. Love this wine. Inner quote mark (2/2019)

91 points Decanter

Outer quote mark A smart buy. Having spent 12 months in French barrels (35% new) the juicy black fruit and leafy aromas contrast with sweet spices and hints of cedar. Concentrated with rich freshness and fine tannins. (AI) Inner quote mark (5/2020)

91 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Black cherry, licorice, menthol and smoky minerality on the nose, plus a whiff of chocolatey reduction. Saline and very fine-grained, with medicinal black cherry and menthol flavors lifted by spices and flowers. Rather backward but already showcases the ripeness of the vintage, but with a restrained sweetness. Finishes saline, tactile and suave, with smooth tannins and lingering dark fruits. A lovely vintage for this bottling (an homage to Laura Catena's grandfather Domingo Vicente Catena), which includes some century-old Bonarda vines. (ST) Inner quote mark (9/2019)

K&L Notes

Domingo Vicente Catena, father of Nicolas and grandfather of Laura Catena, originally created this iconic blend of Malbec, Bonarda and Petit Verdot, selling it to the best restaurants in Buenos Aires in the 1930s and '40s. This is an honest, authentic re-imagining of a blend that highlights Malbec's delicious fruit, with Bonarda's slightly rustic brawn and Petite Verdot's color and acidity. An authentic Argentinian blend, originally crafted for locals and now available to us.


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Price: $16.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/3/2021 | Send Email
This is an old school Mendoza wine (heck, they call it “Tinto Histórico”), but it is NOT an old-school Malbec. Instead, it’s a traditional red cuvée that I like to think was being consumed in the dance halls of Buenos Aires in the ‘30s and ‘40s. It’s only a recent innovation that Malbec was bottled by itself. Historically in Bordeaux, Malbec has always been a bit player in the blend. Maybe it was the Tango? Maybe it was Gaucho culture? But in Argentina Malbec took the lead in the blend. Malbec is always charming—it’s hard to resist the fruit, aromatics, and texture. If we must make a critique, it might need a little more structure. Enter Bonarda and Petite Verdot. Both varietals are excellent in blends. The Bonarda brings the acid, and the Petit Verdot brings the tannins. When this three-piece gets together, they cook! This wine is a ride. It starts dark and intense with macerated plums, cherries, pluots, a touch of leather, a soft floral background note, and delicate spice. The first sip of this wine is chocolate-covered cherries with a very fine dusting of spicy earthiness. In moments it opens up as the chocolate fades and the fruit really begins to shine. It’s mixed berries and fruit; dark and bright, red and blue. The palate is round and supple, generous but focused and restrained (thank you Bonarda and Petite Verdot). The fruit is also supported with a light, dusty, leathery tone and a very fine but persistent spiciness. I am totally captivated by that spice, as the wine finishes with those notes, and it is those echoes that draw me back for my next sip. Charming, just like the image of Nicolas Catena’s father on this bottle, whose name, Domingo Vicente, adorns the label. This is not only a wine of immediate gratification, but it will also benefit with a little extra time in the bottle. What to pair it with? I am having pork tenderloin the night that I am writing this, and I cannot wait. This is a summer grilling red—name your protein and it is ready. It is also perfect by itself.

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