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  • Date publishedSaturday, November 21, 2020

Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Argentina) - Wine Review



wine review is a lovely, high-altitude Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina that is available year-round in Ontario as it is part of the VINTAGES Essentials collection at the LCBO. The 2017 vintage of this wine is in stores now and currently on promotion at $2 off until .

It produced by the iconic Bodega Catena Zapata, which was founded in 1902 and is known for, among many things, discovering extreme high altitude terroirs in the Andean foothills of Mendoza. With the true belief that great wines begin in the vineyard, the vision at Catena is to produce rich and unforgettable wines that are true to the special place from which they come. It is also the belief that in order to produce world-class wines, they need the right winegrowing and winemaking team. Catena wines are produced by fourth generation Argentine vintner - also biologist, physician and author - Laura Catena, and Chief Winemaker, Alejandro Vigil.

Althought Catena is known for its pioneering role in resurrecting Malbec, this wine is made with Cabernet Sauvignon - in fact, a blend that doesn't include any Malbec. Cabernet Sauvignon is the third most cultivated red grape varietal in Argentina and, together with Malbec it is one of the most researched varietals in the country. The Cabernet grown in Argentina all come from continental climates, but depending on where it's grown produces at least three different styles of wines.

This red wine has traditionally been 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, but more recent vintages have been blends. Through decades of study and exploration within Mendoza's high altitude mountain terroirs, the Catena family has identified special locations for its Estate vineyards. The 2017 edition of this wine consists of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot, using grapes from 4 high mountain Estate vineyards that are all alluvial in origin. The Agrelo vineyard is located at 3,117 feet (950 metres) above sea level and has clay topsoil with rounded rocks underneath. The Villa Bastías vineyard (Uco Valley) is at 3,675 feet (1,120 metres) elevation and has silt loamy soil over limestone. The Altamira vineyard in La Consulta is located at 3,593 feet (1,095 metres) elevation and sits on loamy soils with rounded rocks underneath. The fourth vineyard is El Cepillo, Eugenio Bustos (San Carlos, Uco Valley) and is situated at 3,593 feet (1,090 metres) above sea level on loam-sandy soils with thick calcareous layers, and rounded rocks underneath. The grapes were fermented using wild yeasts and aged for 12 months in barrel. I recall enjoying previous editions of this wine, let's see how the 2017 is tasting tonight...

Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (90 pts)

Tasting Note:

CATENA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - Mendoza, Argentina (#985002) (XD) - $19.95 $17.95 until Nov. 29.
A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot from high-altitude vines grown between 3,117 and 3,675 feet (950 to 1,120 metres) above sea level. The perfumed, medium-high intensity nose offers lovely currant, cassis, herbal, and olive aromas with well-integrated oak and touches of graphite and cherry compote adding further interest. It's full-bodied on the smooth palate with dark berry, mild oak spice, and herbal flavours supported by balanced acidity and smooth, velvety tannins. Well-balanced throughout with salty mineral notes arriving on the mid-palate, joined by wood spice, savoury earthy, and chocolate notes that linger on the long, smooth and juicy finish. Enjoy over the next 5+ years. Score: 90 pts

There are quite a few lovely Catena wines available at the LCBO, but many others can also be ordered through their Agent - Noble Estates Wine & Spirts.


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