Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo, the only officially recognised appellation in Mendoza and one of the region’s premier vine growing areas.
The estate is known as a Malbec specialist with a reputation as one of the country‘s top five producers of this particular variety. Alberto Antonini and fellow Tuscan, Antonio Morescalchi, were so impressed with the vineyards in the area around Mendoza, following their first trip to Argentina in 1995, that they persuaded a few friends to join with them in buying this estate. The estate covers 216 hectares, of which 40 were planted between 1996 and 1999.
The grapes come from vineyards in Medrano, Barrancas and Lulunta in Mendoza, situated at 900-1,000m above sea level. The climate here is semi-desert with hot days and cool nights which help the aromatic development of the grapes.
Grapes from different vineyards were vinified separately before the final blend. The wine was then aged for 12 months in concrete ‘piletas‘.
Bright, luminous ruby with delicate aromas of red fruit, strawberry and plum and a touch of exotic spice. The palate is full of juicy, elegant fruit, silky tannins and a balanced structure. The result is an honest, persistent Malbec with a lingering finish.
Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo which is one of the region’s premier vine growing areas. They are known as a Malbec specialist with a reputation as one of the country‘s top five producers of this variety, and were at the forefront of the revival of Malbec in Argentina in the 1990s, while many others were insistent on planting and vinifying Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Fruit is sourced from the oldest geological part of the Uco Valley – vineyards in the sub-region of La Consulta and two areas in Tupungato. The soils are composed of gravelly, alluvial soils abundant with stones. Vines are planted in a high density to balance vine growth in the low vigour, nutrient-poor soils.
Grapes from different vineyards were vinified separately before the final blend. The grapes were selected from a double selection table and were gently pressed before a cold maceration process began in small stainless steel tanks for five days at 10ºC. The alcoholic fermentation began with indigenous yeasts at 24-28ºC for 12 days, with a long maceration. Three rack-and-returns took place during this time, together with three pump-overs each day, for the best extraction. 50% of this Malbec was aged unoaked in cement ‘piletas’ for 12 months, 25% in stainless steel vats, and the remaining 25% in untoasted large oak foudres.
This vivid ruby Malbec has a beautiful bouquet of sweet cherries, fresh cranberries, herbal tea and fresh figs. Crisp and round on the palate, the wine adds violet and mint nuances to the bright red fruit. The finish is fresh and long, maintaining a wonderful balance of acid and tannin structure.
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