The grapes for Catena Alta Cabernet Sauvignon come from a select block of La Pirámide vineyard, Catena's premier Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. At more than 940 m (3,100'), the La Pirámide vineyard enjoys a continental climate of sunny days and cool nights, allowing for prolonged hang-time and crisp acidity in the grapes. The Catena Alta block has historically provided the most balanced and uniform yields. The carefully chosen vines undergo a detailed thinning process to leave only select, isolated clusters on the vines to ripen fully.
The grapes are destemmed before undergoing fermentation and a long and thorough maceration. The new wine is then aged for a total of 18 months in 100% new Taransaud French oak. The result is an extremely concentrated Cabernet, with integrated tannins that will allow the wine to age well into the new Millennium.
The 1999 Catena Alta Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep ruby red color with marked violet tones. The nose is concentrated with blackberry and cassis aromas with nuances of toast and vanilla from oak aging. It has a soft mouthfeel, a full-bodied middle and a ripe, lingering finish filled with balanced acidity and mature tannins. Catena Alta Cabernet will only be made in exceptional vintage years.
90% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the lime, clay soil of Lot 3 in the La Pirámide vineyard and 10% Malbec sourced from the sandy, clay soil of Lot 18 in the 70 year old Angélica vineyard. The 1999 growing season was characterized by even cooler than usual conditions, with average temperatures only reaching 17.6° C in La Pirámide. The hang time was extended, ensuring ripe sweet tannins and excellent aromatics. This vintage can be enjoyed now and will continue to improve over the next 8 to 9 years.