Ernesto Catena, is the eldest son of Nicolás Catena of Catena Zapata fame. A 4th generation winemaker, he is defined by many as the “bohemian” side of the Catena family. Ernesto is a tireless and avid reader, painter, art collector, horseman, polo player and archer. But first and foremost he has wine and grapes in his blood.
Ernesto Catena named this particular wine “Patriota” (Patriot) since Bonarda and Malbec grapes have remained at the core of Argentina’s great winemaking tradition. Plus it is a pretty cool name. The original artwork of this passionate dancing couple was created by Ernesto’s close friend and artist, Ariel Mlynarzewicz. (We also have no idea how to pronounce Ariel’s last name).
The grapes are from his Bio Dynamic vineyard in the Vista Flores, Uco Valley and La Vendimia in Lujan de Cuyo. Two different sub regions of Mendoza. Both vineyards are well over 1000 metres. It is a blend of 60% Malbec and 40% Bonarda. They are hand harvested and aged 12 months in 70% French & 30% American oak (30% new). This wine is very impressive; not only does it look great, but what is in the glass is pretty amazing. I can see why it has scored so high with critics.
It has a rich flavour profile, packed with concentrated blackberries, dark plums and mocha, featuring plenty of dark chocolate notes. It just rolls around the palate, offering extra layers of complexity and flavours as it goes. Oak is prominent but the fruit can handle it with ease. A pretty complete wine, it is muscular and powerful, but also offers elegance and complexity.