Over the past 20 years, Nicolás and Laura Catena and their vineyard management team have worked tirelessly in the discovery, identification and development of key microclimates in the high altitude wine country of Mendoza, Argentina. Nicolás Catena has planted an almost countless number of varietals and clones throughout his mountain vineyard sites. This quest for quality lead Nicolás and Laura Catena to a crucial discovery regarding the influence of altitude on grape cultivation in Mendoza. Observing the important differences in soil types, average temperatures and thermal amplitudes that exist at varying altitudes, he found that vineyard sites which are just a few kilometers apart can have vast differences in altitude and possess remarkably different microclimates. Over the years, the in depth study of these different microclimates led Nicolás to determine that the same varietal, and even the same clone, presented distinct aromatic and flavor profiles when cultivated in each of these unique microclimates. Implementing the age old art of assemblage, he found that by blending these different lots of the same varietal, he could achieve a more complex wine.
Catena Zapata Nicolas 2009 is made from a selection of the best lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec in the Catena Zapata Vineyards. The first Nicolás Catena Zapata was made in 1997, a phenomenal Cabernet Sauvignon vintage in Mendoza. The 1997 Nicolás Catena Zapata was released in 2000 through a series of blind tastings held in the USA and Europe where it was compared blind to Chateau Latour, Haut Brion, Solaia, Caymus and Opus One. The Nicolás Catena Zapata 1997 came in either first or second in every tasting. This wine is only produced in outstanding vintage years.