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Altos 'Guatallary' Malbec 2016
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Altos 'Guatallary' Malbec 2016

 
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Wine Advocate 96
"My favorite of the collection, the 2016 Malbec Appellation Gualtallary is a wild and structured expression of the grape, place and vintage. Produced with grapes grown at 1,300 meters in altitude, it fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and aged in untoasted 3,500-liter French oak foudres for some 22 months. It comes from two selected plots in Gualtallary and has a very perfumed nose that is intoxicating, with notes of decayed violets, ... read more
Item ID: #30157
Size: 750mL (wine)
Closure: Cork

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Item Description

Wine Advocate 96
"My favorite of the collection, the 2016 Malbec Appellation Gualtallary is a wild and structured expression of the grape, place and vintage. Produced with grapes grown at 1,300 meters in altitude, it fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and aged in untoasted 3,500-liter French oak foudres for some 22 months. It comes from two selected plots in Gualtallary and has a very perfumed nose that is intoxicating, with notes of decayed violets, wild herbs and an earthy touch. The palate is pure chalk, with mineral notes, ultra refined tannins and a dry, tasty finish. This has a similar character to the Reserve, with higher minerality and the added freshness of 2016. This has to be one of the best wines ever produced at Altos Las Hormigas. It has the balance to develop nicely in bottle. 10,208 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2018."

The Wine
These Malbec vines grow in Gualtallary’s loamy soils, lying at 1,300 meters above sea level. Limestones covered pebbles and gravels occupy 50-60% of the soil volume, with a high percentage of free calcium carbonate in the profile granting to the wine a chalky, fresh minerality. 3% of clay in the fine matrix allow Malbec to express fresh fruit flavors, for a strong but well-integrated roundness on the palate.

The grapes go through a double selection process and are released by gravity into small stainless steel tanks for pre-fermentation maceration at 5°C for 7 days. The alcoholic fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts at 24°C for 15 days. In order to maintain careful, gentle handling, pumping is not used; the cap is rotated by manual pigeage throughout the fermentation, and once this is completed, post-fermentation maceration begins for 4 days. The wine was matured in 3,500 ltr untoasted Foudres for 18 months, and 12 further months in the bottle.

The Estate
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.

Altos Las Hormigas

View 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.

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