On the 11th Day of Christmas – Catena Chardonnay

Behind Door #11

Catena Chardonnay



About this winery

When you think about great Argentinian Wine, it is impossible not to have Bodega Catena Zapata come to top of mind.  Revolutionaries in the field, the Catena estate has a long history of research and scientific exploration in the world of wine.  Founded by Italian immigrant Nicola Catena in 1902, grandson Nicolas Catena later brought international attention to the estate after spending time in Napa while on a stint as an visiting Professor at Berkley.  The knowledge gained from this experience would later spearhead a revolution in Argentinian quality wine making.

The scientific pursuits did not end there.   In 1995 Nicolas’ daughter Laura, an E.R Physician, joined her fathers quest.  Focused on using her scientific background, she furthered Catena’s  in depth studies on the effects of altitude and soil on viticulture. By 2013, the program evolved to become the Catena Institute of Wine.  Now the institute acts as Argentina’s #1 Wine Research facility, assisting all in the industry.


Tasting notes

A classically beautiful Chardonnay, this is one wine that shows true benchmark Argentinian Chardonnay character.  A blend from 3 of Catena’s parcels, each at a slightly different altitude –  Agrelo (950m), Villa Bastias (1120m) and Gualtallary (1450m), bring unique character and flavour profiles to the blend of the finished wine.

On the nose expect to find lively white flowers, crab apples, apricot, a hint of vanilla, and light Acacia Wood.  On the palate, this dry wine is ripe, full bodied with a juicy acidity, and creamy texture.  Flavours of crab apple, lemon juice, unripe white peach, cheese, and brioche are backed up with light notes of oak.  The finish is long, mouthwatering and mineral driven.

Perfect Pairings…

Looking for a quick yet extremely decadent meal over the holidays?  This Catena Chardonnay is the perfect pairing for my Crab Carbonara.  Crab is a classic pairing with Chardonnay, but add in the cream, cheese and lemon – and this will put the pairing over the top!

To make this a fast meal, be sure to purchase pre-cooked frozen crab meat, and you will be able to pull dinner together as fast as you can say “Al Dente”.  This is one meal that is great on Christmas Eve, especially if you are wanting to have something special, but are too wrapped up in bows, wrapping paper and tape to spend much time cooking dinner.


Spice grilled salmon with mango-avocado salsa on a white plate



  • 1 Cup of Diced Bacon or Pancetta
  • Large package of Dried Fettuccine
  • 2.5 Cups of Cooked Lump crabmeat – thawed and patted dry on a paper towel
  • 3 Medium Garlic Cloves – Minced
  • 2 Cups of Grated Grand Podano
  • Zest of 1 Lemon (approx 2 tsp)
  • 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream preferred, however you can get away with 18%)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  • In a large skillet, cook the pancetta or bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy – transfer onto a paper towel and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs, 1.5 Cups of cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest
  •  Cook Pasta According to package directions.
  • Once Al Dente – drain pasta.  Pour Egg/Cheese mixture over hot noodles and stir to incorporate.
  • Toss in Pancetta/Bacon and 2/3 of Crab meat and lightly combine
  • Serve Topped with extra lumps of crab meat, and garnish with leftover cheese at the table.



           – Kathryn

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