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 whopping 98+ from Parker’s Wine Advocate who called this wine “outstanding” and $100/btl today, this one still has a ways to go before it’s at that point.
Out of stock
98+ Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The outstanding 2018 White Stones Chardonnay epitomizes the expression of the grape in the cooler-climate and high-altitude location of the Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary. There is rectitude, austerity and elegance, a subtle wine with great clout and intensity that comes through as chiseled, focused, symmetric and pure, more in the style of Roulot than Coche-Dury, with superb integration of all the elements and fine minerality. This is more about the place and vintage than the grape, which feels like a good way to transmit the chalky soils of the selected plots. Simply superb, possibly the finest vintage for this bottling so far.
98 Points, James Suckling
A very subtle yet intense White Stones on the nose with stone, bone, lemon-rind and dried-apple aromas that follow through to a full body that is very tight and closed, but shows a compact fruit structure of sliced mangoes and cooked apples. Vivid finish, turning to flamboyant minerality. In reserve still.