2017 Domaine Nico "Grand Pere" Pinot Noir, Mendoza
Domaine Nico is the new project and winery for Catena Zapata focusing on Pinot Noir from Mendoza, Argentina.
In 1902, Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, planted his first vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery has remained under family control — now in its fourth generation — and is one of the few family-owned wine companies in Argentina that remains in Argentine hands. Owned today by Nicolás Catena and his daughter Laura, Catena Zapata is known as the pioneer of fine wine from Argentina, and Nicolás is recognized as the vintner who revolutionized wine quality in Argentina. A trained economist, Nicolás began this revolution in the early 1980s and continues to challenge himself and his team to make wines that can be counted among the best in the world. His measured approach to viticulture has taken its place in wine history as the pioneer of Malbec and high-altitude viticulture.
Catena wines, first launched in 1992, set a new standard for quality in South America. The wines immediately proved the quality potential of Argentina and garnered the first outstanding reviews for Argentine wines from worldwide media. After more than 20 years, the wines of Catena continue to lead the way in Argentine viticulture and winemaking. The family and the winery’s employees take great pride in carrying on the tradition that began over a century ago.
Dr Laura Catena Zapata is one of the most incredible people in the world of wine today. She is the Managing Director of Catena Zapata and is the founder and board member of the research focused Catena Institute of Wine. She is a vintner, physician, and author, and has been called "the face of Argentine wine" for her active role in studying and promoting the Mendoza wine region and Argentine Malbec. Laura's life obsession is to learn more about high altitude viticulture, the vineyard soil microbiome and wine ageability."Bright medium red. Slightly liqueur-like aromas of raspberry, strawberry, loamy spices and coffee, lifted by a topnote of rose petal. Lovely supple, pliant Pinot Noir with sweet red fruit and spice flavors nicely buffered by integrated acidity. Combines noteworthy silky depth with serious inner-mouth lift to project a sensation of weightlessness. Finishes juicy, firm, saline and long. Very suave Pinot with mid-term aging potential. My second bottle of this wine was even better, as it began very tight and minerally, then opened slowly with air to show increasing richness and tangy red fruit character. Domaine Nico is a project of Laura Catena, whose family originally planted this Tupungato vineyard on stony soil at about 4,200 feet in 1994 with Dijon clones; she also has Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon on this site but not Malbec). The Domaine Nico wines are made without any new oak by 30-year-old winemaker Roy Urvieto, who previously spent 10 years as assistant to Alejandro Vigil, head winemaker at Catena Zapata. (vinified with 30% whole clusters; from a north-facing part of the Villa Bastías vineyard in Tupungato) 93 pts." -- Vinous