Siesta en el Tahuan 2018 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina
One of the many projects by the Catenas, this is by Ernesto Catena, a fourth-generation winemaker.
Winemaker: Alejando Kuschnaroff
Variety: Malbec 100%
Terroir: High altitude vineyards in Mendoza (Tunuyan, Vistaflores. La Consulta, Altamira), sandy soils
Ageing: 50% French oak, 50% 2nd-and-3rd-use American Oak, 10 months
Founded by fourth-generation winemaker Ernesto Catena, Tahuan is a winery based in Mendoza, Argentina. Tahuan produces 100% varietal wines from selected old vineyards at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Over the years, Ernesto and his team designed their biodynamic farm and vineyard as a sculpture to be gazed upon from the sky, much like the cities of the Mayan and Incan civilizations. Tahuan draws its name and inspiration from Tahuantinsuyu, the name the Incas used to refer to their empire.
Scores: 90 points, James Suckling
October 2020 Bottle Club Feature!
Ernesto Catena is known as a ‘wine poet’, a man whose passion for nature and art has made him a creator and artist in the cellar. Having spent a part of his life working as a designer and being a fervent student of the Renaissance humanism, Ernesto sees it as his mission to transform everything in his wine world into art, from growing the grapes to making wine to selling it. Ernesto understands the winery and vineyard as a home for an artist to create and commune with nature; to be one with the poetic nature of life.
Ernesto is a fourth-generation winemaker based in Mendoza, Argentina. His family’s Italian roots are as interwoven into Argentinian food and wine culture as can be- Ernesto Catena is the son of the prestigious winery owner, Nicolás Catena Zapata, whose family pioneered the modern Argentinian wine industry in 1902. His sister is Laura Catena, an emergency room doctor turned winery president, known as the “face” of Argentine wine due to her tireless work to promote the industry.
Tahuan is one of Ernesto’s site-specific winery projects. The story of Tahuan began when Ernesto first became enchanted by the Tahuantinsuyu, the realm of the Inca culture. Through commerce and religion, the Incas conquered most of the Andean tribes, and in their quest for union they built a network of roads connecting all the Andean micro-cultures from Quito to Mendoza. It is on one such road that Ernesto first dreamed of honoring the culture of the Tahuantinsuyu, the Quechua expression for “The Found Lands United”, with Tahuan wines. Here, he produces 100% varietal wines from selected old vineyards at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Over the years, Ernesto and his team designed their biodynamic farm and vineyard as a sculpture to be gazed upon from the sky, much like the cities of the Mayan and Incan civilizations.
He makes three wines here: Malbec, Bonarda, and Cabernet Sauvignon. All three grapes flourish in the high elevations of the Uco Valley. This 100% Malbec is a pure expression of fruit, which sees aging for 10 months in a 50/50 mix of second- and third-use French and American oak barrels, adding just a seasoning of vanilla and spice to underline the intense fruit qualities of plums, cherries, blackberries, and currants.
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