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  • Date publishedTuesday, March 30, 2021

Catena Appellation Agrelo Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (Argentina) - Wine Review

After enjoying the fabulous 2018 Catena Appellation San Carlos Cabernet Franc last week, wine review is my third recent review from Catena's Appellation series of wines - the first was the 2018 Catena Lunlunta Old Vines Appellation Malbec that I enjoyed back in February. This Cabernet Sauvignon arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on as part of the feature on Argentina - The Land of Extremes and there aren't many bottles left, so you'll want to pick-up a bottle or two before it's all gone.

Since all three wines come from different parts of Mendoza, click here to view an interesting map that shows where the grapes for each wine come from.

Pioneers in the world of Argentine winemaking, the Catena family have been producing wines in Argentina since 1902. The first major revolution occurred in the 1980's while Nicolás Catena Zapata (father of Dr. Laura Catena) was visiting California and seeing the wine revolution taking place there. In 1990, Nicolás brought back the vinification style which he dubbed the Californian-French style - where wines were crafted with freshness, intense fruit, and new oak hints using only French oak barrels - and crafted his first vintage using this style in 1990. A couple of wines were created, but the special wine was a Cabernet Sauvignon using grapes planted at Catena's Agrelo vineyards. Following the success of this wine, this vinification style was quickly adopted by other wineries in Mendoza.

While Malbec is by far the most widely planted grape in Argentina, Cabernet Sauvignon is the third most widely planted, not far behind Bonarda. As Cabernet Sauvignon is considered the king of reds, it has been researched extensively in Argentina and produces wines of different styles based on where its grown in the country.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is from Catena's historic vineyard in the Agrelo Appellation. This vineyard is located just south of Mendoza city, within the Luján de Cuyo DOC, which itself is part of the larger Uco Valley. The Agrelo Vineyard is planted at an elevation of 950 metres (3,116 feet) above sea level and is of alluvial origin with clay topsoil and rounded rocks on the bottom; it is composed of 30% sand, 30% clay, and 40% silt. The region of Agrelo is well-regarded for its Cabernet Sauvignon as its deep clay soils and moderate climate produce wines with robust tannins and smooth, lengthy finish.

Family vintners for over 100 years, the Catenas are recognized for their pioneering role in high-altitude viticulture in Argentina. This wine is sourced from the family's historic vineyards in the Agrelo Appellation, a region well-regarded for Cabernet Sauvignon in Mendoza. The appellation's deep clay soils and moderate climate produce wines that are revered for their robust tannins and smooth, lengthy finish.

Catena Appellation Agrelo Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (92 pts)

Tasting Note:

CATENA APPELLATION AGRELO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2018 - Agrelo, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#484303) (XD) - $21.95
100% Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged in French oak barrels (35% new) for 12 months. Gorgeous, highly aromatic nose is fresh with lovely, complex notes of red and black fruit, currant, cassis, stony mineral, graphite, and pencil lead, turning smoky with time in the glass. It's full-bodied on the ripe, supple palate with more red and black fruit, currant, and cassis flavours joined by herbally notes. Acids are fresh and well-balanced, while smooth, supple tannins are well-integrated, yet still offer some structure. Excellent finish length on the slightly chalky finish with savoury mineral and herbal flavours. Highly recommended buy to enjoy over at least the next 4-5 years. Score: 92 pts

Other fabulous wines by Catena can be found at the LCBO, as well as through their Agent - Noble Estates Wines & Spirits.


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