One More for the Collection – Catena Wines


Every once in a while, we get the opportunity to taste a series of wines that are truly extraordinary.

Last Friday was that day.

Andres Blanchard, the U.S. Export Manager for Catena Wines, was in store with the new line-up of Catena Wines for 2006. I had the opportunity to tast through the line-up of the 2005 vintage a ways back and were absolutely blown away by how the wines were showing that day. So with that memory fresh in my mind, I looked forward to what the 2006 vintage held in store. Let me just say this… I was not disappointed.

In short, here’s what we tasted last Friday:

  • Catena Alta 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Catena Alta 2006 Malbec
  • Catena Zapata 2006 Adrianna Malbec
  • Catena Zapata 2006 Nicasia Malbec
  • Catena Zapata 2006 Argentino Malbec [blend of the Adrianna and Nicasia]
  • Catena Zapata 2006 Nicolas

Here was our take. Compared to the 2005 vintage, which showed a bit more extraction, the 2006 vintage showed a greater depth and complexity than its predecessor. The wines were absolutely gorgeous. While each of the single vineyard Malbecs had its own distinct character, the blend offers what is perhaps the best introduction to high end Malbecs available. The flagship wine, the Nicolas, also was at the top of its game offering a depth of character that rivals any California Cabernet at double its price.

In the end, I believe the 2006 vintage will be more cellar worthy than the 2005 vintage, offering a more complex structure. In my estimation, the Catena Wines, are perhaps some of the best made wines in the entire region, if not beyond. They consistently score very high and are some of the most sought after Argentine wines in the world. Yet unlike many other wines, the bottle backs up the hype.

Like the old saying goes, if you really want to know what wines are worth the money, ask wine buyers what they have in the personal collection. That being said, as the Southern Hemisphere wine buyer for Amazing Grapes I’ll tell you what takes a prominant spot in my personal collection – a healthy dose of Catena Wines. And from what I tasted last Friday, the 2006 vintage will sit nicely along my 2004’s and 2005’s from Catena.