The 2000 growing season in the high altitude wine country of Mendoza offered wonderful conditions for the cultivation of excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec fruit. Lower than normal temperatures in Spring resulted in a delayed maturation cycle. Indeed veraison occurred in January some 7 to 10 days later than usual. The cooler temperatures allowed the grapes to experience a slower, gradual maturation process, helping to ensure a more complete ripeness level. There was some isolated rain in March, but detailed canopy management with some leaf removal ensured that the clusters were properly aerated, avoiding any damage. The autumn harvest season was dry and temperate, with warm sunny days and cool mountain nights allowing the grapes the opportunity to achieve optimum ripeness.
The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit is sourced from Lot 3 of the La Pirámide vineyard. The 20 year old vines in this specially selected lot offer an exceptional level of homogeneity and balance, with all elements of fruit distribution, yield and canopy in perfect, natural harmony. A select, precise leaf pulling process removes interior canopy foliage surrounding the clusters, allowing for more homogeneous aeration and solar insulation. Careful irrigation management during the important maturation months of March and April allow the grapes to achieve maximum concentration, structure and balance.
The Malbec fruit is sourced from two vineyards: Lot 3 of the Nicasia vineyard and Lot 18 of the Angelica vineyard. The 85 year old Angelica vineyard offers ideal conditions for Malbec cultivation. The predominantly sandy soils, which are mixed with a bit of clay, offer excellent drainage, while the continental climate of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights allows for even ripening and extended hang times.
The 15 year old vines in this specially selected lot of the Nicasia vineyard undergo a thorough suckering process to remove any unwanted, secondary shoots in order to ensure proper canopy balance. The lot also experiences a demanding green harvesting leaving isolated clusters in order to maximize concentration. A wide, 13.8º C, thermal amplitude in the important ripening month of March allows the Malbec grapes to develop deep dark violet color, intense aromatic structure and soft sweet tannins.
The 2000 Nicolás Catena Zapata has a deep garnet color with tones of dark violet and purple. The nose offers bright, intense aromas of plum, cassis and blackberry fruit meshed with notes of vanilla, chocolate and spice with a touch of eucalyptus. Concentrated and full-bodied, this wine shows a remarkable elegance and harmony. The long, lingering finish is dominated by sweet, velvety tannins.
- Varietal: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec
- Alcohol: 13.6 %
- Total Acidity: 6 grams/liter
- pH: 3.56