Bodega Catena Zapata produces a line of wines utilizing the Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec varietals. The winery is based in Mendoza, Argentina, and harvests its grapes from six vineyards in the Uco Valley and Lujan de Cuyo regions.
I had previously sampled their 2007 Catena Alta Malbec and their 2007 Malbec Argentino. I opened the 2007 Nicolas as Part II of World Malbec Day on the 17th of April 2012 (okay…I admit it, I was just looking for any reason to taste this bottle!).
The 2007 Nicolas Catena Zapata was a red blend, composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Malbec. The wine was produced with grapes from 4 of Zapata’s vineyards (La Piramide, Domingo, Adrianna, and Nicasia). The 2007 Nicolas was aged for 24 months in new French oak.
Of all the wines I have tried from Catena Zapata, this was one of the best I have ever tasted.
This was a PNP. The wine should have been decanted, as it was quite tight upon opening. While the tannins settled down fabulously on their own over the course of several hours, a decent decant ahead of time would have worked wonders on this vintage.
The aromas from the glass were amazing (the nose alone brought that big smile to my face). Black fruit combined with chocolate, light oak (vanilla), and light floral notes. You could sniff this glass for an hour before taking a sip (ok, I’m exaggerating there).
With quite a bit of excitement (where am I going here?), I took a sip from the glass. The smile I had gotten from the nose grew bigger, and my eyes widened. The flavors from this wine were fantastic. Black and red fruit, dark chocolate, and a bit of pepper. All were working together harmoniously. This was a very, well made wine. As the wine opened up, black cherries joined the party on the palate as well.
Tannins were present during the first hour. They weren’t terribly harsh, but were sensed, and a little rough. As time went on, they turned incredibly smooth.
The finish on this wine was fantastic, very long and enjoyable. Along with the tannins, came mocha, dark chocolate, and later on, black cherries.
Everything with this wine was so well integrated, from start to finish. It still needs a few years to come full circle, but I am very glad I tried it when I did (I have a few more bottles in the cellar and will conduct additional research in the near future!).
The 2007 Nicolas Catena Zapata wasn’t cheap. It cost me $80 (the things I do for this blog!). That said, if you can afford it, I highly recommend you give this wine a taste. (If you drink it now, please, please, please decant it.) Catena Zapata produces wines anywhere from $20 to $100+ (and I’ve never had a bad one from them at any price). Despite its cost, Nicolas is one of my favorites from this winery.
I hope you get to sample some soon.