Even though a French grape, Malbec has become synonymous with Argentina—and CATENA ZAPATA, with its illustrious history and bold vision of generations of family who have built the winery from the ground up since the early 1900s, is synonymous with Argentinean wine. A masterpiece like the 2007 Nicasia Vineyard Malbec is really the place to start one’s comprehension of how special a Malbec wine from Argentina can be. Be forewarned, however, that once you have a Catena the ubiquitous $12-$25 bottles of Malbec found in big-box stores everywhere eventually reveal themselves to be an imitation of the real thing. After a Catena, it’s hard to go back. Anyway, you’ve been warned.
Elegant and powerful at the same time—plush, supple and noble—flavors of blackberry, cherry, currant, and dark chocolate, espresso and mint coat the mouth and enliven the senses, taking you to a rustic plain, high on a mountain, which is where the fruit for this wine is grown. So rich yet quiet in demeanor and confident in its purity. This is a patient and earnest and reflective person’s Malbec. Instead of pairing it with food, pair it with music. My suggestion: the symphonies of Sibelius under the wand of Sir Colin Davis with the London Symphony Orchestra. The wine is music that is expansive, expressionistic and colorful. Like a bird flying high over the Mendoza mountains where the vineyards lie, it soars. –J.M.
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