99pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The old River Stones has seen its name simplified to 2019 Adrianna Vineyard River. This is an exceptional vintage for this bottling, from a very stony part of the large Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary, close to the dry river. It's the equivalent to the White Stones white, with a north-facing exposure, the warmer exposure, which in cooler years like 2019 works nicely. The wine has harmony and subtleness, insinuating violets and wet stones, with a rare combination of power and elegance, with minerality and spice, precise, focused and harmonious. The tannins are abundant but very fine and ripe with a chalky sensation in the finish. It has 13.8% alcohol and very good freshness, acidity and healthy parameters. 5,520 bottles were filled in December 2020.
98pts James Suckling
So bright and aromatic with flowers and blackberries, as well as some black olives. Full-bodied with lots of tannins, yet they are so fine and integrated and spread across the palate. This is all whole-cluster fermentation and 18 months in large oak casks.
The 2019 Malbec Adrianna Vineyard River Stone comes from a parcel off the Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary, planted at an altitude of 4,400 feet in a dried river bed. Aged for 20 months in new and used French barrels, it is a rich purple in the glass thanks to the intense sunlight. The nose offers plum, sour cherry and blueberry with herbs, lavender, hints of balsam and oaky aromas such as cedar and sandalwood. The compact palate has fine, taut tannins, more lean than muscular overall. This is a balanced and remarkably energetic high-altitude wine, all solar energy, concentrated soils and the untrammeled freshness that comes with a cool region.
95pts Tim Atkin
White, calcium carbonate-coated river stones are the terroir here, producing a Malbec that combines density, power and high-altitude freshness. Glossy, textured and enticingly perfumed, all violet and star anise, this is deftly wooded, layered and well-structured, with firm tannins, some Asian spices and a chalky finish.
Over the years, Nicolás Catena Zapata discovered the influence altitude has on fruit quality. As one climbs the altitudes of the Andes the average temperature decreases and the amplitude between day and night temperatures increases. Named after Nicolás Catena Zapata’s youngest daughter, the Adrianna Vineyard is located at almost 5,000 feet elevation in Mendoza. The soils in this 1.4 hectare parcel are filled with scattered limestone and marine deposits that covered the region millions of years ago.