The grapes for Catena Alta Chardonnay come from a select block of Adrianna vineyard, Catena's premier Chardonnay vineyard. At 1,500m (5,000') elevation. The Catena Alta block has historically provided the most balanced and uniform yields. These carefully chosen vines undergo a detailed thinning process aimed at leaving only select, isolated clusters.
Picked in the cool, early morning hours, the grapes for Catena Alta Chardonnay are whole cluster pressed. The juice is all barrel fermented, and the wine spends a total of 12 months in François Fréres French oak, 100% new.
The 2000 Catena Alta Chardonnay has a straw yellow color with light green tones. The nose is intense and focused, with layers of citrus and pear fruit aromas laced with honey, toast, and mineral notes. The wine is full yet crisp on the palate, with a long persistent finsish. Catena Alta Chardonnay will only be made in exceptional vintage years.
100% Chardonnay sourced from the sandy soil of Lot 1 in the Adrianna vineyard, the first vintage to incorporate this unique high altitude vineyard site. The 1999 growing season in Adrianna vineyard presented the typically cool temperatures of this microclimate. Average temperatures for the month prior to ripening were only 18.1° C with very cool nights dropping on average to 11.7° C. These cooler temperatures allowed the Chardonnay grapes to develop ripe pear fruit flavors with delicate citrus and floral tones, strong mineral notes and excellent natural acidity. This vintage can be enjoyed now and will continue to improve over the next 5 to 7 years.