Altos las Hormigas, Gualtallary Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, 2018 through Merchant of Wine.

Altos las Hormigas, Gualtallary Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, 2018

Regular price $49.95 Sale price $60.00

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Overview of the Wine
In 1995 Alberto Antonini, a well-known Tuscan winemaker, and Antonio Morescalchi, a young entrepreneur, took a trip to visit the burgeoning wine areas of South America. It only took one stop to find what they were looking for. They were immediately impressed by the vineyards thriving in the high altitude and dry climate of Mendoza, and were captivated by the whispered traditions and blend of cultures.

They returned to Tuscany powerfully impressed not only by the region, but also by the unexplored potential of Malbec, a grape that had a strong local tradition but was largely ignored and misunderstood. While the rest of the wine world saw Mendoza struggling to shed its bulk wine image, the two young Italians saw Mendoza as a place where traditional viticultural values and unblemished land could be reinvigorated with a modern winemaking approach and international experience. Instead of planting Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as many others were doing during the 1990s, the team decided to invest their confidence in Malbec. Today, Malbec is the varietal for which Argentina is best known.

Against all odds they cemented their vision to become Terroir Specialists Shortly after, two friends and business partners, also enthused by the idea, joined the venture: Attilio Pagli, a renowned Tuscan winemaker with two 100 point-scoring wines in his personal record and Carlos Vazquez, an Argentine Agronomist, who work for 20 years with the early Catena group, planting new varieties, developing previously unknown vineyard sites and contributing greatly to the qualitative change of Argentine viticulture early on.

Grape / Blend
100% Malbec

Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
This wine comes from a vineyard with its roots in communion with caliche (calcium carbonate conglomerate) which grants a special mineral salinity to this Gualtallary Malbec. On the first approach in the nose, it is quite austere, but patience is rewarded with notes of rosemary, lavender, and graphite. It shows the structure and intensity that is a feature of Malbecs from this area in the Uco Valley, with a fresh palate, fine-grained tannins, and a long and delightful length.

97 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The site-specific 2018 Malbec Appellation Gualtallary comes from specific soils, two plots that they believe transmit the maximum expression of limestone to Malbec, giving a structured wine with fine-grained tannins but a little wild. The vines are on stony and gravelly soils with a high percentage of limestone and sand with around 3% clay at 1,300 meters in altitude. The grapes fermented in small concrete vats with indigenous yeasts at some 25 degrees Celsius for 15 days. It matured in untoasted 3,500-liter French oak foudres for 18 months and no less than 12 months in bottle. This comes from sandy soils and very low yields that give it chalkier tannins and a savage way. This has a slightly rustic touch, vertical and with some lightness. There's always a fresh touch of aromatic herbs (thyme and rockrose), with a textured palate and very tasty and clean flavors in the finish. 20,600 bottles were filled in September 2019.

94 Points - James Suckling
Pretty, floral and crushed-fruit aromas with raspberry, blueberry, hibiscus and citrus zest. Olives, dried spices and gravel, too. Toasted oak. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, silky tannins and bright acidity. Wonderfully fresh and layered. Drink or hold.

92 Points - Vinous
The most accomplished of the Appellation wines, because Gualtallary is a region where grapes can ripen earlier without losing their greener qualities, something that the aging in foudres makes no effort to conceal – the opposite, in fact. Bright purple in color. Reductive thyme and wet stone notes stand out on the nose, and sour cherry follows on behind. The austere palate is taut as a high wire, while the flavors are sustained by the freshness, which comes in a chalky coating. Austere with basic, primary flavors. I opened three bottles of this wine before really beginning to understand it. Requires plenty of thought. Good cellar potential.

Product size: 750ml

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