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Bodega Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard White Bones Chardonnay 2020

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    Nicolás Catena Zapata planted the Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary with a single goal in mind: to find the coolest location for growing vines in Mendoza. Originally, viticulturists feared that Bordeaux varieties such as Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon would not ripen in Adrianna. In terms of the Winkler classification, a method developed in California to add degrees and categorize regions according to their climate, the weather at Adrianna is between zone 1 and zone 2 depending on the year, putting it between Burgundy and a very cool part of Bordeaux. Even so, no French woman would dare to plant Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec in Burgundy.

    Yet that is exactly what the Catenas did in the high-altitude soils of Adrianna. Nicolás planted the Adrianna Vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay cuttings from France, and with Malbec taken from Lot 18 of his 75-year-old Angélica vineyard. Over the next few years the wines consistently proved to have more minerality and more acidity than wines from other sites in the Southern Uco Valley at lower altitudes—sites such as Altamira, La Consulta and Eugenio Bustos. The Adrianna Malbecs have more grip and denser tannins.

    For over four generations, the Catena family has grown vines in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina. In his pursuit to make wines that stand with the best in the world, Nicolás Catena identified the best lots and rows, in the Catena family’s estate vineyards.

    The Adrianna vineyard is located at almost 5,000’ elevation in the Gualtallary sub-district of the Tupungato region. White Bones Chardonnay comes from select rows within Block 1 of the Adrianna Vineyard. The name refers to the soil underneath these rows, which is layered with calcareous deposits and limestone as well as fossilized animal bones - remnants of a river that used to pass through the region. There are many theories about why the grapes coming from these rows have such distinctive floral aromatics with an earthy minerality in the nose and palate. It may be related to the minerals in the soil or to the effects that the calcareous deposits have on root penetration.

    At this extreme high altitude, the nights are cool, only a few degrees above freezing even in the summer. The night-day temperature difference is between 15 and 20 degrees. And the sunlight is more intense because of the altitude.

    Fascinating nose of white lavender, lemon, pineapple, green apple, thyme, rosemary, sourdough, almond and oyster shell. It’s medium-bodied with vibrant acidity and a tense, spicy palate. So much flavour and fragrance. Incredibly expressive, with evolving layers of fresh fruit, spices, flowers and herbs. Drink or hold. - James Suckling, 99 Points.

    The Finer Details
    Style - White Wine
    Varietal - Chardonnay
    Country - Argentina
    Region - Mendoza
    Vintage - 2020
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 12.5%