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The November 2020 Auction: Part 4

Auction # 634 | View Auction Schedule and Details
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Auction Ends: 11/29/2020 6:00:00 PM PST

Lot #1194. Bodega Catena Zapata Nicolas 2009

Description: Consists of 1 Bottle, 0.75L
Region: Argentina, Mendoza.
Score: 95 WA.
"The 2009 Zapata is from selected vines marked by a red sash in order to raise the wine with meticulous care. It is 10% whole cluster and 90% whole berry fruit that is aged in 80% new French oak for 24 months. It is pieced together from a mind-boggling 210 separate row micro-vinifications of multifarious lots and harvest times and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Malbec. It has a spellbinding bouquet that exudes minerality, as if crushed stones had been sprinkled into the black fruit. With continued aeration, there are scents of oyster shell and black olive. The palate is full-bodied, with immense structure and backbone. The acidity is beautifully judged with filigree tannins that render the finish so elegant and refined, with notes of blackberry, soy, black plum and that stony aftertaste. Magnificent . . . . There is no need to introduce Catena Zapata. I visited the winery, which stands like an Egyptian pyramid looking for its sphynx, and spent the entire morning darting from one room to another tasting the entire portfolio of wines from the family. Naturally, it was an honor to meet Nicolas Catena himself, who has been instrumental in Argentina’s progress over the last three decades (see video). But what is pleasing is to find such a famous winery refusing to rest upon its laurels and in fact, through the irrepressible head winemaker Alejandro Vigil, a man who patently contemplates wines 24/7, Catena Zapata are looking forward and asking themselves questions about the style of wines they produce, what ought to be the next stage of their evolution, instead of merely replicating previous successes. Nothing exemplifies that more than the premium wines. Several years ago, it was 100% or even 200% new oak by rote. Nowadays, more consideration towards harmonizing the level of new oak to the fruit and the character of the wine has meant that it has been dialed down to 60%. Speaking to Alejandro, he might reduce it even further, but of course, it should depend upon what is best for the wine. In addition, there has been a revision in their approach to malolactic fermentation, as attested by their Chardonnays, the length of skin maceration (reduced from 30 to around 22 or 23 days) and more experimentation with whole cluster ferments and co-fermenting with white grape varieties. Anything is possible." Wine Advocate #203, Jun 2013
Provenance: The Hanseaten Cellar
Lot Location: Orange County
Estimate: $60

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