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 Malbec is hand-picked from 100% calcareous soil of the Uco Valley, limestone over alluvial deposits of the Tunuyan River in Altamira, the alluvial terrace of Arroyo Grande in Vista Flores, and the alluvial with calcareous highlands of Gualtallary. The terraces contain medium pebbles with occasional boulders covering calcium carbonate paste of around 7-10% active lime which contributes to structure, texture and a long, impressive finish.
The season began with severe frosts that lowered yields by 30%. November brought a few dry Zonda winds that challenged the flowering stage and lowered yields even more. December and January brought heatwaves and late summer rains and lower temperatures moved into the region just before harvest. In three weeks the region received levels equivalent to two years worth of rain; therefore grapes harvested prior to mildew or rot setting in were showing excellent levels of acidity, lower alcohol content and fine tannins.
Grapes were harvested by hand with delicate and conscious bunch selection. The destemmed berries were loaded by gravity to allow a gentle breaking of skins. During fermentation, pigeage and a very gentle treatment were used on the cap to avoid over extraction. The juice fermented using native yeast. The wine was matured in 3,500 litre untoasted Foudres for 18 months, and six months in bottle. There was a coarse filtration prior to bottling, to ensure no interference with the quality of the wine.
An opaque purple wine with highlights of bright ruby. The nose is filled with plum, raspberries, chocolate and a touch of leather. This wine offers a strong, well-structured palate. Intense red and blue fruit encompass the senses, drawing to a long, mineral and elegant finish.
|Grape varieties||100% Malbec|
|Region||Valle de Uco, Mendoza|
|Winemaker||Alberto Antonini/Attilio Pagli/Leonardo Erazo|
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.