The inaugural 1997 vintage of this Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend set a new standard of quality for wines from South America when it won a series of blind tastings against first growths and other prestigious cuvées from around the world.
Nicolás Catena Zapata 2009 has an intense, deep purple color with bluish-black tones. On the nose, aromas of black fruits – blackberries, black cherries, black plums – predominate with subtle notes of vanilla and dark chocolate intermingled with savory hints of green olive and a stony minerality. On the palate, the wine is tremendously complex, unfolding layer upon layer of ripe and baked black fruits. Black cherries and blackberries give way to cassis, mocha, and vanilla followed by notes of licorice, baking spices, and a hint of saline minerality. The wine is remarkably concentrated with a firm tannic structure providing the backbone for the lush fruit. The finish is long, a foretoken of the long aging potential of this Argentine masterpiece.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (RP): 95
"The 2009 Zapata is from selected vines marked by a red sash in order to raise the wine with meticulous care. It is 10% whole cluster and 90% whole berry fruit that is aged in 80% new French oak for 24 months. It is pieced together from a mind-boggling 210 separate row micro-vinifications of multifarious lots and harvest times and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Malbec. It has a spellbinding bouquet that exudes minerality, as if crushed stones had been sprinkled into the black fruit. With continued aeration, there are scents of oyster shell and black olive. The palate is full-bodied, with immense structure and backbone. The acidity is beautifully judged with filigree tannins that render the finish so elegant and refined, with notes of blackberry, soy, black plum and that stony aftertaste. Magnificent."
Wine Spectator (WS): 94
"A concentrated yet lively red, with embedded acidity backing rich cassis, racy black cherry puree and mocha notes. This is detailed, delivering a long finish of spice cake, tarry mineral and fruit. Delicious now, but will reward patience. Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec."