Wine Advocate 95
"The other appellation Malbec comes from the hottest place (not in temperature, but in terms of market demand) in the Valle de Uco, where the grapes for the 2014 Malbec Appellation Gualtallary are grown. This is significantly cheaper than most wines of this quality. I was a little disappointed with the performance of this wine in 2013 and was looking forward to 2014. The soils here are rich in calcium carbonate, but in the shape of caliche (a kind of marl with plenty of chalky material, iron and clay), which provide for more tannic wines. The destemmed grapes fermented in small concrete vats with indigenous yeasts without the use of any pumps. The wine matured in used, untoasted 3,500-liter French oak foudres for a period of some 18 months. It feels fresher, perhaps a little herbal and definitely more ethereal than the Altamira. Yes, it's more tannic, because the tannins are abundant, but they feel very fine-grained. This year I favor Gualtallary over Altamira. There is more complexity here. 9,333 bottles produced and filled after a light filtration in January 2016."
Vinous Media 94
"Bright medium ruby. Musky dark berries, molten chocolate, leather, meat and espresso on the nose, lifted by a touch of violet florality; this struck me as a bit like Syrah from the northern Rhône. Very suave, fine-grained, dry wine with insidious intensity and nuance--not to mention lift--to its dark fruit and mineral flavors. Classically dry in an Old World style, showing a sexy mocha reduction today and no excess weight. Finishes with horizontal, fine-grained tannins and outstanding length. This is not quite as tightly wound as the 2013 version last year, but no complaints here! Finishes with dusty tannins and chalky suggestions. Not thick or fleshy wine, just a superb Malbec of terroir. In fact, I wonder if I'm underrating it. This wonderfully concentrated, layered wine finishes extremely long, with fine-grained tannins. -- Stephen Tanzer"
" The appellation line of Malbecs from Altos Las Hormigas highlights the different terroirs of Valle de Uco. In each area, ALH features a soil type and a specific climate, producing a wine that accentuates its origin with longevity and a signature texture. The limestone in Vista Flores brings out a distinctive muscular character, unique among Valle de Uco Malbecs
“Wow! Readers may be sure I will be buying these wines for my own cellar.” –Robert Parker, Jr.
Wine from Mendoza is more than just Malbec: it is the reflection of a know-how, a tradition and an origin. Established in 1995, Altos las Hormigas brings together the expertise of two renown Tuscan winemakers, A. Antonini and A. Pagli, with the Terroir approach of the French schooled Chilean Pedro Parra, PHD. Their Terroir Project is working towards the creation of an appellation system in Mendoza, while showing Malbec’s diversity of expression according to its origin. Based on this philosophy, their portfolio shows the tremendous versatility of the Malbec, from fresh fruit driven Mendoza Clásico to structured and mineral Uco Valley’s Reserve. Along with Malbec, Altos Las Hormigas has been crafting Bonarda for 10 year, Argentina’s second most planted variety. They display its joyful and delicate nature under the classic line Colonia Las Liebres.
Altos Las Hormigas was conceived in 1995, successively followed by their first bottling in 2007. Located in Lujan de Cayo, Mendoza, Argentina this is a venture that speaks Spanish with an Italian accent. The founders of Altos recognized the enormous potential and exciting challenge of old vine Malbec grown in the warm climate of Mendoza and aimed to craft supple, deeply fruited and concentrated wines. Lujan de Cayo, Argentina’s first designated appellation—in 1993, is particularly adaptable for vineyards. Altos’ vineyards, located at approximately 800m above sea level, with sufficient access to water from the nearby Andes and moderate summer rainfall help Malbec thrive in this region. In addition to their range of classico to single vineyard Malbecs Altos also produces a Bonarda. This Italian grape variety from Piedmont and the Oltrepo-Pavese region has enjoyed much greater success in the rich soils and generous climate of Argentina. " ~ Winery notes
Altos Las HormigasView all from Altos Las Hormigas
Wine from Mendoza is more than just Malbec: it is the reflection of a know-how, a tradition and an origin. Founded in 1995 by a consortium of prominent Italian winemakers, including Alberto Antonini of Antinori and Antonio Morescalchi, Altos Las Hormigas has always been evolving. Their Terroir Project is working towards the creation of an appellation system in Mendoza, while showing Malbec's diversity of expression according to its origin. Based on this philosophy, their portfolio shows the tremendous versatility of the Malbec, from fresh, fruit driven Mendoza Clásico from Lujan de Cuyo to the structured and mineral Malbec Reserve from the Uco Valley. Along with Malbec, Altos Las Hormigas has been crafting Bonarda for 10 years, Argentina's second most planted variety. They display its joyful and delicate nature under the classic line Colonia Las Liebres.
In 2012, Altos Las Hormigas took a significant step in their ongoing evolution from boutique value winery to the terroir-driven, serious player in the world of Malbec that they are today. After seeing the potential for wines of consequence in the Uco Valley, the team decided to stop using new oak and small barriques for all of their wines; instead going with older, untoasted, large oak foudres across the board. This decision has allowed for much more expression and elegance, especially on the sublime Appellation series of Malbec, which features the limestone-driven Uco Valley sites of Gualtallary, Altamira, and Vista Flores.
They've teamed up over the past decade with Pedro Parra, PhD in Terroir, to use various techniques to find both the ideal sites for their wines as well as a way to measure the ideal ripeness of their fruit. With Parra's guidance, the team at Altos Las Hormigas has dug over 1,500 soil pits in the Uco Valley, chasing the chalky Mendoza gold that is limestone, which imparts a beautiful minerality to Malbec. In Gualtallary, Altamira, and Vista Flores, they have found the limestone trail, where the vineyards have shallow topsoil and the vines dive deep into the calcareous mother rock. They also use electromagnetism to map out the soil depth of their vineyard sites so that they can avoid picking a whole block where, due to the warm and hilly vineyards of Mendoza, there may be some underripe and overripe grapes in addition to the ideally ripe grapes. Instead, they use that information to harvest in irregular polygons, and pick the fruit with ideal ripeness in every section.