Catena Malbec Review

Catena MalbecCatena Malbec comes from the Catena Zapata Family Vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina.

According to the bottle, the family has grown vines for over four generations in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.

Catena Malbec Tasting

For this review I tasted the 2012 vintage of this wine.


In the glass, Catena Malbec is quite dark.  Little to no light gets through this wine.

The color is simply very dark plum.

It appears quite heavy, given the thick and slow falling legs.  This wine really coated the glass!


Even before noticing the deep color, I noticed the deep aroma.  It was very evident upon pouring and doesn’t dissipate over time.

The aromatic character is actually more noticeable from afar, with lofting whiffs of dark black cherry.  Up close you get a good burst of rich floral notes.

There is a bit of a sting of alcohol in the aroma, but it is situated behind the other rich aromas.

Catena Malbec alcohol content 13.5% by volume, according to the bottle.


The wine’s flavor starts with warm and pleasant red fruits.  However, there’s also a richer black fruit flavor that is a bit hidden, but noticeable if you’re paying attention.

It’s a nice balance actually between these two flavors.

I found myself taking in the aroma as I tasted the wine and that seemed to bring everything together.  Try doing that if you’re tasting this wine.

Mouthfeel and Tannins

In general this is a pretty dry wine, however it does have some silkiness to the mouthfeel.

Tannins are certainly noticeable.  I sensed the tea like dryness all over my palate and it really stays with you for awhile.


The finish is carried by the flavors and is medium to long.  The tannins do a nice job of rounding out the finish after the flavors dissipate.

Overall Opinion

Overall, Catena Malbec is very enjoyable.  If you don’t like a dry red wine, you won’t like this one.

But, if you gravitate towards dry reds with unique flavor profiles and character, I think you’ll like this Malbec.

Catena Malbec price $19.99.

What do you think?


  1. Solid and detailed review, Jon. Thank you.
    I’m primarily a Cabernet Sauvignon drinker, but a friend recommended the Catena Malbec, and I now love it. Everyone has a different way of describing the smell/taste, but all 3 bottles I’ve had in the last few months, primarily I taste a “meatiness” (hearty, full, balanced) followed by dark fruit, as you put it so well. For me, the finish is slightly acidic and a pinch of sourness, which I enjoyed. Nothing off-putting about this wine.
    Catena has opened my eyes up to the Malbec branch of reds, and I’m going to try more now!

    1. You’re very welcome and glad you found my review useful, Bob!

      It’s always great to find a new varietal to enjoy.

      Hope your next Malbec is a good one… Cheers!

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