2021 Catena Zapata Cabernet Franc San Carlos

SKU #1707743 93 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The peppery, spicy and elegant 2021 Appellation San Carlos Cabernet Franc is fresh, varietal, nuanced and complex while keeping the alcohol to a moderate 13.6%, which makes it attractive and easy to drink, with nice balance and very fine tannins. I usually like the precision and symmetry in this lively wine that has a velvety mouthfeel. 96,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in November 2021. (LG) Inner quote mark (11/2022)

92 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark A very juicy cabernet franc with fresh red cherries, olives and spice box. Very expressive and chalky on the palate with a medium body and a linear finish. Some white pepper at the end. Drink now. Inner quote mark (2/2023)

92 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2021 Cabernet Franc Catena Appellation San Carlos spent eight months in a third new barrels. Garnet red in hue. The aromas feature ash, hints of bell pepper, jalapeño, jam and chutney. It’s well put together on the palate with a compact, slightly unctuous flow that lingers at its leisure. The finish is a repeat of the nose. (JH) Inner quote mark (9/2022)

91 points Descorchados

Outer quote mark This cabernet franc comes from the San Carlos zone, about 1,000 meters above sea level, near the foot of the Andes in the Uco Valley, and from vineyards planted in 1997. It was aged for six to eight months in barrels, one third new oak, and is a ripe and succulent example of the variety, with very soft tannins and sharp acidity to refresh. A varietal franc with the ripe flavors of the mountain sun shining down on both the nose and palate. Inner quote mark (1/2023)

K&L Notes

Mendoza is a very large wine region with a great deal of local diversity. It is a wine region where there are less than 50 miles separating sites that are as cold as Champagne and sites that are as hot as North Africa. And it all can be labeled Mendoza! Catena created the appellation series to showcase and familiarize consumers with the different sub-regions within Mendoza, not unlike how Robert Mondavi did to Napa in the 1980’s. San Carlos is the Southernmost sub region of the Uco Valley, it is approximately 65 miles South of Mendoza City. The Uco Valley is closer to the Andea foothills than the traditional heart of Mendoza. This is one of the first regions that was planted with Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon back in the 1880’s. The soils are alluvial, loamy sand with calcareous layers and small stones. Cabernet Franc, while it has alway been present, has become more important in the Uco Valley over the last two decades. The warm days, with high UV, the calcareous soils and cool Andean nights are the perfect combination of elements to grow this varietal. The fruit is ripe, the tannins are fine and polished, and the savory herbaceousness is not as prominent as it is in the Loire Valley or Bordeaux.


Price: $21.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Kerry Kirkham | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/31/2023 | Send Email
This vineyard designate is composed of 100% Cabernet Franc that aged 6 to 8 months in 100% French oak barrels (30-40% new). Beautiful bluish-red in the glass with a bluish-red nose to match. Juicy olallieberries mingle with fresh black plum followed by lilac and lavender florals with a pinch of white pepper and sweet, sticky whole-leaf tobacco. Very pretty, youthful nose. Needs a little air after being cooped up in glass and so far from home. Silky, seductive medium body and soft approachable tannins beckon another sip. Sinking teeth into the taught skin of a juicy black plum, dark berries, black tea, sandalwood, a pinch of finely ground white pepper and whispers of iron oxide. Good acid levels keep things fresh. So much pleasure—makes me wish I had bought more. Excellent value for admirers of Cab Franc and delicious wine in general. I enjoyed this with a Spanish charcuterie plate of Serrano ham, sliced chorizo, salchichón sausage, cheese, and Marcona almonds on a rainy San Francisco day. Would also pair well in fairer weather — grilled veggies, barbecued chicken thighs, or a thick medium-rare steak. Savory snacks and a good book would be fine too—my default modus operandi. Salud!

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