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Altos Las Hormigas Malbec

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Producer Information

Friends and business partners Alberto Antonini and Antonio Morescalchi have come a long way since they were impressed by Mendoza’s vineyards on their first visit in 1995. They have gone from being youthful interlopers to one of the country’s leading producers, as well as being pioneers of a more elegant style of Malbec.

Alberto and Antonio work very closely with Pedro Parra (widely regarded as the South American expert on soil and vineyard mapping) in order to identify the best locations to grow their grapes. Digging and probing each corner of Mendoza, they have discovered outstanding sites and aim to reveal their distinct characters through their wines. From Luján de Cuyo they obtain fine tannins, concentration and a dark purple colour, whereas the calcareous, high-altitude sites of Vistaflores, Altamira and Gualtallary each bring distinctive perfumes and mouth-filling textures.

A biodynamic approach in the vineyard, as well as minimal intervention in the winery – including natural yeasts, a move from oak to concrete for the Malbec Clásico as well as the use of large, neutral oak for ageing the single vineyard wines – are practices dictated by Altos Las Hormigas’ philosophy to ensure the wine stays true to its place of origin. Their combined wealth of experience as a winemaking team, as well as their never-ending experimentation and desire to produce the best wines that Argentina can offer, has made Altos Las Hormigas a Malbec specialist, with a reputation as one of the country’s top producers of this variety.

Grapes

Malbec,

Production

The grapes were sourced from vineyards in Luján de Cuyo (70%) and the Uco Valley (30%). The region has a semi-desert climate with hot days and cool nights, which allows the grapes to ripen beautifully while still retaining good levels of acidity. The soils have a fine silt-sandy texture that provide good drainage and encourage deep root development, assisting the vines in coping with the intense summer heat in Mendoza.

The grapes were harvested by hand and vinified separately. After a careful double sorting process, they were gently pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts, in order to express the character of each vineyard. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks for 10 days at controlled temperatures of between 24°C and 28°C. Each tank was tasted three times a day to determine what was needed, and the wine then blended. Finally, it was aged for a minimum of nine months in concrete vats, with no oak used.

Tasting Notes

This wine is an intense ruby-red in colour with violet hues. The expressive nose displays characteristic notes of red fruits, plum, and raspberry, with hints of orange rind and jarilla – a native Mendoza plant. This wine is a brilliant example of the levels of freshness that can be achieved in Mendoza - the palate is supple and juicy, with soft but structured tannins, and a long finish.

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