Awarded 92 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (www.robertparker.com) in June 2018 (see blue link below)...
During the 1990’s, Bodega Catena Zapata set new standards for Argentine wine. In an effort to produce a super-premium wine, the winemaking team of Catena began in-depth investigation into the yields from specially selected, high altitude vineyards, identifying the individual lots that produce the best fruit.
These vines undergo a careful thinning process, leaving only a select few clusters, resulting in remarkably complex, aromatic and flavorful fruit. Through the application of natural techniques, these grapes are transformed into Catena Alta. The Catena Alta Chardonnay is produced from two of the Catena family vineyards - Adrianna, at almost 5,000 feet elevation and Domingo, at 3,700 feet elevation. The Adrianna vineyard's pebble covered soil and cool climate are ideal for growing Chardonnay. The fruit from Adrianna has a purity of flavors and a minerality that is particular to this vineyard and cannot be found anywhere else in Mendoza. Meanwhile, the sandy loam soils of the Domingo vineyard contribute white stone fruit and good acid balance.
Whole clusters are pressed and then 100% fermented in 500-litre French oak barrels with natural yeasts at low temperatures and with aggressive battonage. Aged for 14 months in French oak. 30% does not undergo malolactic fermentation. First-, second- and third- use barrels used.
The Catena Alta Chardonnay presents an intenese greenish-yellow color. The nose offers ripe white fruit aromas such as pears and peaches that are interwoven with delicate citrus and floral notes, such as jasmine. The palate shows rich and concentrated ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of minerality. The wine finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.
See/click the link below for data on this wine from the winemakers themselves.
This wine has the unique expression of cool and high altitude vineyard sites. Tupungato vineyards lend citrus notes with a crisp finish and a rich unctuous mouthfeel. The wine has a beautiful pear and citrus flavors with crisp fresh minerality. The wine is a delicate greenish color with light yellow notes. The aroma is of fresh white peaches and pineapples and jasmine and magnolia. The mouthfeel is tangible and rich yet clean and fresh on the finish.
See/click the link below for more data from the winemakers themselves.
The Catena Chardonnay combines the unique expressions of three high altitude vineyard sites. The wine shows an intense greenish color with yellow notes. The extraordinary combination of these vineyards offer honey and tropical fruit flavors while lending notes of citrus, pears, peaches, and white flowers with a strong minerality and a delicated note of vanilla. The mouthfeel is clean, with a fresh, clean acidity.
Santa Ana was founded in 1891 by Luis Tirasso, an Italian immigrant and a pioneer in the development of winemaking in Argentina. With over 120 years experience in the wine industry, Santa Ana winery was one of the first to be founded in Argentina. All along, innovation has been their determinant attribute, as well as a key element to positioning themselves before the ever shifting consumer preferences. Technology and state-of-the-art winemaking techniques are driving forces for the company at present and signal their future.
Hand selected bunches are picked from superior quality vineyards within the Bodegas Santa Ana estate in Valle del Tulum, San Juan River Valley.
After de-stemming, the bunches of grapes are crushed and chilled. The juice is allowed a short period of skin contact before racking off the gross lees and fermenting for 20 days in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 15 degrees. Ageing is completed in French and American barriques, before the wine is bottled after filtration.
Santa Ana Viognier Reserve has a bright golden yellow colour with greenish highlights. Aromas of stone fruit, with notes of toast and vanilla conferring complexity. Unctuous in the mouth, with hints of balanced sweetness and a refreshing finish. A rich, full bodied wine with aromas of stone fruits, toasted nuts and sweet vanilla.
The perfect accompaniment to Sushi, Oriental dishes, spicy chicken and Indian curries.
Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentinian whites (see blue link below).
The wines of Susana Balbo’s Signature series are her maximum expression of her art as a wine- maker. The barrels with the most sophisticated aromatics and flavors are selected for this line. Susana looks for great complexity and balance in her wines, and each varietal is individually fermented and aged in order to achieve this. All of the wines of this line are a reflection of the personal likes and preferences of Susana, who individually composes each batch.
Produced in very limited quantity, this wine was fermented for three months in medium-toast French oak barrels. The result is a wine that embraces the delicate floral aromas of this unique grape variety, intertwined with enchanting exotic fruit characters, a twist of lime, and notes of wild honey and fresh vanilla. Sublime yet subtle in the mouth, the finish is elegant, long, and finely balanced.
100% Torrontés. Hand-harvested, hand-picked, destemmed, cooled at 6° C, macerated with dry ice for 6 hours, low-pressure pressed. 100% fermented in new French oak and aged for 4 months in 100% new French oak barrels.
Pale gold with bright reflections. On the nose, this wine seduces because of its hints of white pear, white flowers and ripe peach. On the palate, it has a beautiful structure and acidity along with enticing fruit flavours. Plenty of body for a wine that shows such delicate aromas and flavours. Fruity, floral and yet still quite dry.
Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentinian whites (see blue link below).
The awaited 2016 vintage (not yet available in the UK) won a Platinum Award for Best Argentinian White Single varietal - with a score of 95 points - in the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com) (see blue link below).
Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley. Hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina, the terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.
The grapes are grown in high altitude, drip irrigated vineyards in Gualtallary, located in one of Argentina's most outstanding vine-growing valleys: the Uco Valley. Gualtallary is situated at 1,350 metres above sea level in the highest vine growing zone, at the foot of Tupungato volcano. This zone is characterised by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 17°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit.
The grapes were gently pressed and combined in the cement eggs. Nature took its course and the alcoholic fermentation started naturally between 18 to 21°C. Once fermentation was complete, a partial malolactic fermentation took place. The wine was then left in the same cement eggs for five months, without separating it from the lees, which generated volume on the palate. It was bottled directly from the cement egg without any intervention to stabilise or filter the wine. The cement egg significantly helps with the structuring and stabilisation of the wine, through the natural movements that are created by this shape.
A characterful Sauvignon Blanc showcasing a strong struck-flint mineral intensity, combined with grassy and herbaceous notes. The wonderful volume and texture on the palate is balanced by a refreshing acidity through to the bright, flinty and persistent finish.