90% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Malbec was sourced from the sandy, clay soil of Lot 18 in the 70 year old Angélica vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from the lime, clay soil of Lot 3 in the La Pirámide vineyard. The 1996 growing season, described by some as the vintage of the century for the Malbec varietal, offered Nicolás Catena the opportunity to make the first Catena Alta Malbec. Very cool conditions predominated throughout February and March, with average temperatures as low as 18.6° C in the Angélica vineyard. This translated into a long, extended hang time in which the grapes could develop excellent levels of concentration and intense aromatics. This vintage can be enjoyed now and will continue to improve over the next 3 to 5 years.
The grapes for Catena Alta Malbec come from a select block of Catena's more than 60 year old Angélica vineyard. Named after Nicolás Catena's mother, the Angélica vineyard is Catena's premier Malbec vineyard. The soil and climate of the Angélica vineyard are ideal for growing Malbec. Clay soils with a rocky sub-soil allow for excellent drainage, and the continental climate of warm days followed by cool nights allows for even ripening and a prolonged hang-time.