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Bodega Catena Zapata, Catena Appelations Cabernet Franc, El Cepillo, Mendoza 2009
Finding out that Alejandro Vigil, Catena Zapata’s chief winemaker, served Cabernet Franc at his wedding says it all. “I have a weakness for Cabernet Franc,” he confesses. Now I have to convince the Catenas to plant more of it!!” And judging by the exceptional quality of this wine it can only be hoped that he manages to do so.
Vigil has been with the family since 2002, the same vintage of their first single bottling of Cabernet Franc. In a very unlikely fashion for the Catenas this wine was not the result of a clear path. A wine has to do what a wine has to do. A barrel sample of a Cabernet Franc 2002 from La Pirámide vineyard was mistakenly placed in a blind tasting of Malbec components.
It ended up being everyone’s top choice and the Angélica Zapata Cabernet Franc was born. Laura Catena, Nicolás Catena’s daughter and vice president of the winery, explains “the wine has become so legendary in Argentina that we do not have any wine to export. The Catena Appellations Cabernet Franc is a first”. Unfortunately there is not a lot of Cabernet Franc in Mendoza, only around 350 hectares.
This wine comes from a three-hectare lot in the Angélica Sur Vineyard in El Cepillo, in the Uco Valley. The climate is cool and sunny due to its southerly location and high altitude of 1,100 meters. Here, the vines of Cabernet Franc produce naturally low yields, small berries and delicate flavours. This wine is one of the most exciting Argentinean wines of this year’s awards.