Malbec grapes have been grown in the Mendoza region of Argentina since the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until winemaker Nicolas Catena dared to plant Malbec at elevations of almost 5,000 feet in the Uco Valley that the best expressions of Argentine Malbec were discovered.
Catena, along with his daughter Laura, are now Argentine winemaking giants, producing dozens of wines under various labels. Even the least expensive of the Catena wines exhibit the the passion, skill and care the family shows for its wines.
All of Catena’s wines represent good value for the quality they offer, but one perfect example is Catena Alta Malbec.
Sourced from historic blocks of vine rows in the Catena family’s estate vineyards, Catena Alta Malbec is a blend of 100 per cent Malbec grapes from several wine sub-regions in Mendoza. All of the vines are planted at least 3,000 feet high, with some at more than 4,750 feet in Uco Valley. The grapes on these vines get plenty of brilliant sunshine during the day to ensure ripening and luscious fruit flavours, and the cool evening temperatures typical of high altitudes allow for the wines those grapes produce to have balancing acidity and elegance.
Normally priced at CI$36.99 at BlackBeard’s, Big Daddy’s and West Indies Wine Company, Catena Alta drinks like a wine priced twice that amount and typically receives ratings in the 93- to 95-point range. During the month of November, while supplies last, West Indies Wine Company will offer Catena Alta Malbec for the sale price of $30.49. This is a good time to stock up for the holidays or for the future because although this wine is delicious now, it has the structure to evolve gracefully for at least the next decade.