P0011028_dv-catena
Since Bodega Catena Zapata already boasts a roster of some of the finest malbec wines fashioned in Argentina, I wonder why it was necessary to add another rendition to the line-up. Still, the D.V. Catena Tinto Historico 2014, Mendoza, honors Don Domingo Vicente Catena — father and grandfather of the present owners, Nicolas Catena Zapata and his daughter Laura Catena — as a replica of the wine that Domingo Vicente made in the 1930s and sold in the bistros of Buenas Aires. Made by Laura Catena and chief winemaker Alejandro Vigil, the wine aged 12 to 14 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels, first-, second- and third-pass, followed by 10 months in bottle. If you can call this beckoning abyss a color, it’s opaque black-purple with a glowing magenta rim; warm and slightly woody aromas of spiced and macerated black currants, cherries and plums open to an intense core of lavender, iodine, graphite and bittersweet chocolate. Dense and velvety on the palate, this 92 percent malbec wine (with 8 percent petit verdot) delivers tasty black fruit flavors enlivened by vivid acidity and a scintillating lithic character. The texture is sleek and supple; the wine deepens with moderate tannins of a briery-brambly nature; a few minutes add the subtly resinous quality of freshly cut rosemary; tar and wood-smoke define a lithe, balanced finish. 14 percent alcohol. A wine that gathers depth, dimension and austerity as the moments pass. Supremely appropriate with burgers and steaks, hearty pizzas and pasta dishes or grilled pork chops with a chili-cumin rub and clearly superior to the average “bistro” wine. Now through 2020 to ’24. Excellent. About $21.

Winebow Inc., N.Y. A sample for review.