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Nicola Cantena planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza in 1902 and today the estate is run by Nicholas Catena and his daughter Laura. Malbec continues to be the estates focus and the wineries pristine vineyards lie at the base of the Andes on soils of sand, lime and stone at altitudes between 920 and 1120 metres above sea level. Over the last 20 years, the fastidous vineyard work of Nicholas and Laura has paid dividends and Catena Zapata is now one of Argentina's most famous estates. Lush, beautifully created wines are what you can expect from Catena Zapata.

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 delicate note of vanilla. The mouthfeel is clean, with a fresh, clean acidity.

The balsamic and showy 2015 Chardonnay is a blend of three vineyards, one small plot from Agrelo (less than 10% of the volume, as it's no more than four hectares), another one from Villa Bastías from the Tupungato department and a third one in Gualtallary, also in Tupungato in the Valle de Uco. Vinified, aged separately and blended before bottling, 15% of the volume goes through malolactic in oak barrels where it also matured for one year while the rest was kept in stainless steel. It has a mixture of yellow fruit and subtle oak keeping a core of white fruit and flowers. This follows the style of the 2014--medium-bodied with some chalky tannins that provide a chalky texture and a supple finish. Rating: 91 Points; Luis Gutierrez; Robert Parker's; The Wine Advocate

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