Catena Malbec 2006 – Bodega Catena Zapata – Alc. 14% (€13)
I guess that this is Catena’s entry level Malbec. I paid €16 for this bottle at an up-market butcher in Aachen but Wine Searcher tells me that it is available in Brussels for about €13, at which price it is excellent QPR.
C: Very deep and opaque dark purple.
N: Rich red and dark fruit lifted by a nice mineral note and hints of spice and leather.
P: Full bodied and dense with aromas as on the nose, lively acidity bringing a tangy and savoury freshness to the slightly sweet fruit, firm tannic structure and good length. There is just the barest hint of the oak ageing in the form of light caramel touches on the finish and there is a sense of finesse and a lack of caramelised thickness on the palate which distinguishes it from all the other Mendoza Malbecs which have come my way except with the exception of a sip and spit of the outstanding (and I guess much pricier) Gran Reserva 2005 from Fabre & Montmayou; still not be mistaken for Cahors but there is the resemblance of a distant cousin; I will look for more; 16/20++.