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2012 Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay Mendoza
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88 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - March/April 2014

Bright, green-tinged yellow.  Subtle leesy complexity to the aromas of peach and spicy oak.  Bright and nicely balanced, with a restrained sweetness to its flavors of stone fruits, spices and herbs.  In a distinctly polite style, with a saline, sake-like texture and modest cut on the back.  This bottling underwent full malolactic fermentation not many years ago; today winemaker Alejandro Vigil blocks about 70% of the secondary fermentation.  He noted that there's a two-month difference between the first- and last-picked grapes that go into this blend.

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About Argentina

Until the early 1990s, Argentina's wine industry was focused inward, as the local market's thirst was sufficient to absorb the huge quantities of everyday drinking wine produced there. But with per-capita consumption in the domestic market in sharp decline since the mid-1970s, Argentina's wine producers realized that they had to look to export markets to remain in business, and winemaking in Argentina began its transformation.

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The best Chardonnays in the world continue to arrive from the region where the grape first emerged: the chalk, clay, and limestone vineyards of Burgundy and Chablis. While the origins of the grape were disputed for many years, with some speculating that the grape came all the way from the Middle East, DNA researchers at the University of California-Davis proved in 1999 that Chardonnay actually developed...
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