Catena Zapata - 2017 - Malbec Adrianna River Stones - 750 ml.
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.
James Suckling: 100
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.