Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Stones Malbec 2019
"So bright and aromatic with flowers and blackberries, as well as some black olives. Full-bodied with lots of tannins, yet they are so fine and integrated and spread across the palate. This is all whole-cluster fermentation and 18 months in large oak casks. Needs about four or five years to come together." James Suckling 98 points Drink 2022-39
The 2018 Adrianna Vineyard River Stones is always the freshest and most austere of the three single-plot bottlings from the Adrianna Vineyard on Gualtallary. This fermented with some 70% full clusters, as it was harvested at three different times and the first two fermented with full clusters and the last pick was added destemmed to the fermentation. The nose is subtle, elegant and nuanced; the grapes were picked quite early in 2018 and that ensured a vibrant palate with almost citrus (blood orange) sensations. A small percentage of the wine matured in stainless steel. They have been working with the irrigation and only irrigated it four times that year, achieving more precision in the viticulture, which gets reflected in the balance of the wine. This has very fine tannins, a very fine thread and a dry, long and tasty finish. This is markedly stony, true to the character of the place. Red fruit, textured and mineral.
Riverstone is a 1.6-hectare parcel of Malbec grown in a dry river bed of stones coated in calcium carbonate. The winemaking process begins with fermentation in 500-liter barrels, followed by 20 months' aging in French oak barrels. Expressive, like all wines grown in stony soil, this is also fruity with notes of sour cherry, raspberry and lavender. The palate is quite intense, offering hints of chalk that define the texture and a saline flavor that enhances and channels the effect in the mouth.