With its inaugural 1997 vintage, Nicolás Catena Zapata became the first luxury cuvée from Argentina to be exported around the world. The wine recreates the “Original Bordeaux Blend” of the 18th and 19th Centuries, when Malbec dominated over Merlot and was in equal standing to Cabernet Sauvignon in the Médoc. Prephylloxeric Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon massale selections of ungrafted vines give rise to this wine, opening a window to the past from the mountain vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina.
It was Nicolás Catena who thrust Argentinian wine into the modern era. A widely travelled academic economist, he learned from his exposure in the 1970s both to great Bordeaux and the huge promise of Napa wines. In the early 1980s, Catena agreed the key was to plant the right varieties in the right location, specifically cooler, higher sites. “Nicolás Catena Zapata is justly credited with putting Argentinean wines on the world map – by the best expedient of focusing entirely on quality. It’s great to know he has started a wine dynasty, too.” – Jancis Robinson