Catena Zapata Alta Malbec 2017

Hearty and versatile malbec
  • $99.00
  • $107.00

Learn More About This Product

Primary Notes: Blackberry Raspberry Licorice

Secondary Notes:

Tertiary Notes:

Body: Medium +

Dryness: Dry

Acidity: Medium -

Tannin: Medium -

Alcohol (%):

Origin: Mendoza, Argentina

Maker: Catena Zapata


Fermentation: Heavy Wood

Awards: >90 pts


Serving Temperature: Best enjoyed between 16 - 18 degrees

Asian Food Pairing: peking duck, beef rendang

Western Food Pairing: beef stew, lamb chop


Catena Zapata Alta Malbec 2017

Catena Zapata Alta Malbec has a bright ruby red. It has elegant, aromatic notes of blackberry, raspberry, and flowers, with licorice elements and a touch of leather. The palate is rich with soft and sweet tannins and a silky smooth structure. It has multiple complex layers of rich cassis, black currant, interwoven with hints of black pepper. Its lengthy finish is marked by wonderful minerality, finely-grained tannins and lively acidity.

Catena Alta is an assemblage of historic rows within the Catena family Estate vineyards. The blend of these historic rows, like the marriage of sounds that create a symphony, yields a highly aromatic and elegant wine that speaks for the earth and the vines that have been tended by the Catenas for four generations. The Catena Alta wines can usually be drunk starting at three years after harvest and into the following one to two decades.

Vineyard lots are harvested at different times to ensure optimal natural acidity and moderate alcohol levels. Whole berries are hand loaded into small format fermentation bins and 225-500 L barrels; lots from each vineyard are treated individually; fermentation and maceration last for 28-30 days; cold maceration. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel; wine undergoes active battonage to protect it and drastically reduce the amount of SO2 needed. Aged for 18 months in French oak.

Check out the other vintage.



The polished and developed 2017 Catena Alta Malbec has balsamic aromas and a very attractive mixture of flowers, berries and spices. It has contained ripeness for a warm vintage, with a serious profile, medium body and fine-grained tannins, with good grip. It was fermented with full clusters and matured in used French oak barrels for some 18 months. I like the austerity and grip on the palate.

 - 92 Points

Well-structured, with a fine-grained texture to the lively mix of dried red berry and spice flavors. Slate and floral hints on the crisp finish. Drink now through 2025.

Bright ruby. Pure but tight aromas of blackberry, raspberry, bitter chocolate and flowers, with a licorice element emerging with air. Fully ripe, concentrated and sweet, and a step up in density of texture and definition from most of the foregoing Malbec examples. This utterly smooth Malbec finishes with terrific breadth, refined tannins and palate-staining persistence. Winemaker Vigil noted that he picked mostly in early October, before the rains made the end of the harvest an adventure. Yields were low in 2017 due to frost and the Zonda wind in spring, he added. No edges here

- 90 Points

Alta is a blend from old-vine parcels in six of Catena’s estate vineyards, some in Luyán de Cuyo and others from higher altitudes, in the Uco Valley. The 2017 captures the intensity of that fruit in its dark, jammy core, surrounded by brighter, floral flavors of strawberry and hibiscus. It’s hearty but not heavy, a balanced and versatile malbec.