The label's U.S. importer, Vineyard Brands, says that Ernesto Catena, the eldest son of Nicolás Catena of Catena Zapata fame, is a fourth generation winemaker. He is reportedly looked upon as being from the "bohemian" side of the Catena family. He founded his namesake winery and vineyards in 2002.
Catena produced this sparkling wine, although the translation of Alma Negra, black soul, is a reference to their dark-colored red wines made from Bonarda grapes.
Brut Nature is made from Malbec and Pinot Noir grapes. I can't remember ever having a sparkling Malbec before. Now that I think of it, I don't know if I've ever run across a Pinot Noir from Mendoza. The wine was made in the traditional method for sparklers, spent eight months resting on the lees, has alcohol at 13.0% abv and it retails for about $18.
This NV Argentine sparkler gives an orange tint in the glass. Fizzy with soapy bubbles, the wine carries almost no toasty notes on the nose and very few on the palate. Instead, it has an earthy quality, with a lanolin texture on the nose and red fruit on the palate. The mouthfeel is full and creamy, with an acidity that shows strongest on the swallow. It's an unusual sparkler which has the complexity of a still wine, but none of the highlights traditionally found in bubblies. An almost caramel quality makes a fleeting appearance on the finish.
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