2019 Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard 'White Bones' Chardonnay Gualtallary, Argentina
For over four generations, the Catena family has grown vines in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina. In his pursuit to make wines that stand with the best in the world, Nicolás Catena identified the best lots and rows, in the Catena family’s estate vineyards.
The Adrianna vineyard is located at almost 5,000’ elevation in the Gualtallary sub-district of the Tupungato region. White Bones Chardonnay comes from select rows within Block 1 of the Adrianna Vineyard. The name refers to the soil underneath these rows, which is layered with calcareous deposits and limestone as well as fossilized animal bones - remnants of a river that used to pass through the region.
There are many theories about why the grapes coming from these rows have such distinctive floral aromatics with an earthy minerality in the nose and palate. It may be related to the minerals in the soil or to the effects that the calcareous deposits have on root penetration.
At this extreme high altitude, the nights are cool, only a few degrees above freezing even in the summer. The night-day temperature difference is between 15 and 20 degrees. And the sunlight is more intense because of the altitude.
Rated 99 points James Suckling
Honeysuckle, ripe pear and some dried apple. So perfumed. Full-bodied with incredible intensity and length. So much green-apple character and lots of flowers. Dried mango, too. The touch of flor growth in the barrel gives this unique character. Goes on for minutes on the finish. Endless, vibrant acidity. Minerally texture.
Rated 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The very minty 2019 White Bones Chardonnay comes from select rows within Block 1 of the Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary. The name refers to the soil underneath these rows, which is layered with calcareous deposits and limestone as well as fossilized animal bones—remnants of a river that used to pass through the region, closer to Los Cerrillos del Jaboncillo; it's an old soil in a new formation. 2019 is a cool vintage, and the wine is only 12.6% alcohol and has notable acidity (8.1 grams), and it always has a more extroverted personality than the more austere White Stones. It has tons of aromatic herbs, thyme, lavender, lemongrass, rockrose and balsamic with some curry (the wine had some aging under flor), and it has a vibrant palate where the acidity is effervescent and lively and the finish salty. It's vibrant and sharp, more in the style of a Chablis. Truly outstanding. This is a very recognizable wine. 6,000 bottles were filled in May 2020.
Rated 96 points Vinous
The 2019 Chardonnay White Bones Adrianna Vineyard is from the eponymous vineyard in Tupungato and was aged for up to 16 months in used French barrels. Pale yellow with golden flecks. The intense aromatic profile is led by herbs such as basil and a crystal-clear lavender whiff, alongside cedar, vanilla and a backdrop of green apple. Broad and creamy on the palate but with a terse texture and superb freshness, this has an unctuous feel. White fruit aromas appear at the back of the mouth. Ending with a lovely, herbal finish, this is a wine inspired by Chablis but possessing a wild purity all its own.