Catena Zapata White Stones Adrianna Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 comes from a select 27 rows within Block 1 of the Adrianna Vineyard. The wine is then fermented in French oak barrels at low temperatures to preserve the aromatics. A little over two-thirds of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation. The name refers to the gravelly ground beneath the vines, which is covered with oval, white stones.
Vinous 92 points – (from stony calcaire soil; winemaker Vigil did eight hours of skin contact in the press, with whole clusters, compared to just one hour for the White Bones): Full straw-yellow. Lovely high-pitched aromas of orange zest, sea salt, lavender, brown spices and pungent minerality, plus an exotic whiff of molasses. Distinctly angular in the early going, combining penetrating crushed-stone minerality with powerful acidity (only 20% of this wine went through malolactic fermentation). The piquant citrus peel and oyster shell flavors demand bivalves. This distinctly edgy, phenolic wine finishes with superb breadth but is nowhere near ready to drink. Will it eventually absorb its acidity? I wonder whether this wine would have been better-balanced with a bit more malolactic transformation..Stephen Tanzer, March/2016
Wine Advocate 95 points – Catena Zapata White Stones Adrianna Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 had penetrating balsamic aromas that seemed to enter the nostrils leaving a trail of citric and herbal aromas, with great freshness, as it felt almost effervescent. The palate shows superb acidity, great clarity, purity and a mineral-driven finish. 1,600 bottles produced..Luis Gutirrez, December/2016