Catena Alta Malbec 2019
The 2019 Malbec Catena Alta is a blend of grapes from vineyards in Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley ranging in height from 3100 to 4900 feet above sea level and was aged for 18 months in varied use French barrels. The complex aromatic profile features ripe plum and blueberry with jam and hints of lavender, violet, mint and cedar along with a whiff of toast. In the mouth, it's rich but precise with fine tannins and a juicy packaged freshness that keep things taut and gentle as part of a good, comfortable structure. The vigor and structure counterbalance one another to deliver energy and persistence in a deliciously classical Malbec.
The 2019 Catena Alta Malbec transported me to the spirit of the 2016, both cool vintages. It's a blend of grapes from different vineyards that were harvested at different times to ensure optimal natural acidity and moderate alcohol levels. Whole berries are hand-loaded into small-format fermentation bins and 225- to 500-liter barrels. It shows precision and is clean, floral and really elegant, a little closed at first. The palate reveals a very fine thread, satin-like tannins and lively acidity with some blood orange hints. This is phenomenal. 120,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in October 2020.
Silky smooth in texture, with a loam and forest floor cast to the black cherry and wild strawberry flavors, adding pepper and floral details around suave tannins. Drink now. 10,000 cases made, 6,500 cases imported.