Larry Stone, trustee of the James Beard Foundation and Owner at Lingua Franca in the Willamette Valley once said of Nicolas Catena Zapata, the father of Argentinian wine, “Nicolás Catena Zapata is a figure in Argentina of the stature of Robert Mondavi in Napa and Angelo Gaja in Piedmont. He inspired an entire region to strive for a higher level of quality by his successful exploration of high-altitude vineyards and rigorous clonal selection.”
The winemaker who achieved everything he set out to and did it his own way, perhaps never outdid himself more than when he dared to plant Chardonnay nearly 5000ft. above sea level in his home of Argentina, even as everyone said it couldn’t be done.
Adrianna Vineyard is home to some of the best white wines in the Southern Hemisphere and lately in the world. It’s not just James Suckling and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate who have taken notice. It has taken the wine world by storm, and the U.S. allocation is so tiny, the few “cases” that are passed out are actually only 3-packs. With quantities that small, I couldn’t email it. But I could if I can pass these delicious white wine collector’s out to a select few within the text list, I figured that was better than nothing.
This is one of those cult wines that will surely rise in value each year until the price tag becomes obnoxious. But at a perfect 100 points and $125/btl today, we’re not nearly there yet.
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100 Points, James Suckling
This is really exuberant at this stage with fantastic aromas of honeysuckle, salt, chalk and dried apples and pears. Full body. Dense, vivid fruit with a linear frame of wonderful, energetic acidity. The energy and length just goes on for minutes. Soulful white. Argentina’s answer to Montrachet. Stares you straight in the eyes. Drink or hold.
97+ Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
…This bottling is always a little more aromatic and forward than the more backward White Stones; there are flowers, pollen, herbs and white pepper. But both whites are more about the place and vintage, more about the chalky soils that give them a very specific mouthfeel, with a dry, austere personality.
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