The 2005 Alta Malbec was aged for 18 months in 70% new French oak before bottling without fining or filtration. The nicely perfumed bouquet reveals wood smoke, cedar, leather, black cherry, and black raspberry. On the palate it is suave, layered, and richly fruity, with lots of spice notes and well integrated oak, tannin, and acidity. It will evolve for 3-5 years and be at its best from 2011 to 2020. The Catena Zapata portfolio is stunning from entry-level to top-of-the-line. As an aside, during my visit to Catena-Zapata in April, 2008, I tasted many barrel samples of 2006s and 2007s. The components, particularly of the 2006s are astounding; the best is yet to come.