Catena, Alta Malbec
This dense, structured and profound red from high altitude vines in Argentina, is hugely impressive and utterly delicious. With broad tannins and a fine balance of alcohol, flavour concentration and acidity, it is a wine that ages well, showing a mature Argentina that demands respect.
It can be quite easy to become blasé about the different facets of wineries and their vineyards; each one seems to out-do the next in some way, and another has even more of x or y or z... This wine and the range of Catena's Alta wines as a whole, are so, so far removed from the norm that you almost have to view them as wines for the first time in order to be properly wowed as to how incredible their existence really is.
Selected from vineyards and plots within vineyards that are grown up to 1,500 metres above sea level. Selected from 5 specific lots, vinified separately and blended only if they are good enough. That's like taking the pick of a Bordeaux Chateau and only taking the extremes of what you grow in order to make one top Chateau bottling (which, to be fair, is quite often what happens) but doing so at an altitude that is on par with the town of Davos in Switzerland. It's a phenomenal wine-making, as well as a human feat.
With a winemaking history that very few old world wineries possess, let alone in the new world, Catena have achieved international recognition through their pioneering winemaking and vineyard management. With a special relationship to the study of vines at high altitude, they are able to boast a vast range of single vineyard and single site wines across at least four different grape varieties. Their quest for the best from their land isn't a trivial or trendy fad to attract attention and critical acclaim; it really comes from a genuine belief and desire to find the latent properties that this set of terroirs can yield through the lens of each grape that is planted.
- Hard Cheeses
- Red Meats