Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard Malbec 2018
The 2018 Malbec Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard, from a vineyard planted in Altamira in 1996 from an old massal selection, has contained ripeness, reflecting the less warm vintage (after 2017). The grapes were picked very early but with good ripeness because of the low yields in a very dry year. It fermented in open-top barrels with 100% full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in 500-liter oak barrels. It's a balanced and elegant Malbec with some restraint and a very fine thread in the palate, with really fine tannins. It follows the path of the phenomenal 2017, fine and elegant.
The Nicasia Vineyard is located in Paraje Altamira and was planted in 1996. The grapes are from Lot 1 and fermented in foudres with whole bunches, then aged for 24 months in French barrels before being kept for a further 24 months. The involved process explains its charm. A perfumed red with a nose of herbal and lavender notes at first followed by sage and violet as part of a reductive approach that gives way to no-nonsense sour cherry. In the mouth, it delivers everything you could want: juicy and expressive, gentle but powerful with hints of chalk wrapped in a slightly fleshy feel and enlivened by just enough acid. A finely tuned mechanism full of fascinatingly subtle gears and clockwork.
Powerfully fresh and focused, with concentrated dark currant, plum and raspberry flavors that are supported by firm acidity and tannins. Minerally cut midpalate lead to a pure and lithe-tasting finish. Drink now through 2028. 1,000 cases made, 200 cases imported. — KM