2021 Catena "Argentino" Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina

The wine shows a saturated dark violet color with ruby reflections; the nose offers cassis, blueberries and violets, along with a strong suggestion of soil tones. The palate combines density and sweetness on the one hand, with gripping, lightly saline flavors of mocha, dark berries, spice, and minerals; a palate-staining finish dominated by sweet black and blue fruits.



The epic tale of the noble Malbec grape is like no other, and the label for Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino pays tribute to the variety’s history in France and its rise in Argentina. Four female figures embody different landmarks in the history of the grape. Eleanor of Aquitaine represents the birth of Malbec. She is a strong, Old World presence, lingering at the bridge in Cahors, where Malbec came into its own. Next, the Immigrant symbolizes the movement to the New World and the unknown explorers and adventurers who connected Europe with the Americas. Phylloxera personifies the death of Malbec in the Old World, which enabled its rebirth in the new. Finally, there is Bodega Catena Zapata, represented by Adrianna Catena, who depicts birth, earth, and motherhood, sharing the riches of the New World. Today, the Catena family’s fourth generation leads the high-altitude renaissance in Argentina. We are returning Malbec to the sky... where it belongs.

No matter what the vintage, this wine is really more than 100 years old. It represents a family's journey to produce an Argentine Malbec that can stand with the great wines of the world.

20% whole cluster and 80% whole berry fruit is hand-loaded into 225-500 liter new French oak barrels for a 100% barrel fermentation for a period of 28 days, allowing seamless oak integration. The fermentation temperature is kept low, extracting intense aromas, and the cap management is done by hand to ensure soft, gentle flavors and tannin extraction. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel leaves considerable lees and sediment. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.


Great wines begin in the vineyard. Their vision is to make rich and unforgettable wines that are true to the special place they come from. The story of Catena is the story of Argentine wine.

In 1902, Nicola Catena planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza. Domingo, Nicola's eldest son, inherited his father's dream and took the family winery to the next level, building the Catena business to become one of the largest vineyard holders in Mendoza. Like his father before him, Domingo Catena fiercely believed that Argentine Malbec could make a wine as worthy as any first-growth Bordeaux.

In the 1960s, however, the Argentine economy imploded and inflation rates soared. Familia Catena struggled to hang on. It got so bad one year that Domingo realized it would cost him more to harvest than to leave the fruit on the vines. His 22- year-old son Nicolás Catena Zapata, a recent PhD graduate in economics, advised him not to harvest.

Argentina's years of turmoil continued as it became Nicolás's turn to take the reins of the family winery. Against a challenging backdrop of political and economic instability, with a military government that had just declared war on the United Kingdom, Nicolás concentrated on expanding distribution throughout the country. But in the early 1980s, Nicolás got an opportunity he couldn't refuse: He left Argentina for a short sabbatical to become a visiting scholar of economics at the University of California, on the world-renowned campus at Berkeley.

Until that time, no one in the new world had dreamed of challenging France on the wine front—except, that is, for the Californians, who had decided to defy Europe by creating a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay that could rival the best French wines. California—and especially the sun-drenched vineyards of Napa Valley—proved to be a serendipitous inspiration to Nicolás and his wife, Elena. They spent weekends visiting the wineries with their youngest daughter Adrianna in a backpack. And Nicolás Catena Zapata returned to Mendoza with a vision in mind: A Californian Vision.

Today, the wines of Bodega Catena Zapata are sourced from six historic estate vineyards: Angélica, La Pirámide, Nicasia, Domingo, Adrianna and Angélica Sur. The family’s Adrianna Vineyard at almost 5,000 feet elevation has been called the Grand Cru of South America.


Grape(s) Malbec
Farming Sustainable