Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Stones Malbec 2017
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Incredible aromas of blackberries, hot stones, wet earth and flowers. Full-bodied, it floats across the palate with ultra-fine tannins that melt into the wine. Superb, long finish of subtle fruit and terroir-defined subtleties. Try in 2022, but already a dream to taste. James Suckling
One of three Malbecs from the Adrianna vineyard in Gualtallary, the 2017 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones was surprisingly fresh for the conditions of the year. They discarded a small plot that was a little too ripe. The wine fermented with full clusters and finished fermenting without skins or stems (like a white), and this was done with 100% of the volume, because in previous years, it was done for maybe 70% of the wine. This helps with the texture and the minerality, a mouthfeel rather than a flavor, reminiscent of the stony soils covered with limestone. This tends to be the most austere of the three bottlings, but it shows a little more fruit; and there is a lot of acidity, but it's nicely coated by the fruit. The result is a beautifully textured Malbec that seems to open up slowly in the glass—the violet and berry aromas get complicated by some spice (curry?), and the palate feels more layered. This is a superb expression of the austere wildness of Gualtallary. 4,800 bottles were filled in December 2018. Luid Gutirrez – The Wine Advocate
Saturated dark ruby. Ripe, vibrant aromas of cassis, blackberry, tropical bitter chocolate, flowers and crushed stone are more expressive than those of the youthfully imploded 2016 version. Wonderfully plush, sweet and mouthfilling but perfectly integrated acidity gives clarity and balance to the middle palate. The tactile, rising whiplash of a finish features powerful but perfectly harmonious tooth-dusting tannins and lingering notes of crushed stone and violet. This spectacular wine is easier to appreciate today than the 2016 version but it would be a shame not to give it at least a couple years in the cellar.