Valle de Uco Malbec `Terroir`

Valle de Uco

Altos Las Hormigas

Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo, the only officially recognised...

appellation in Mendoza and one of the region's premium 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.

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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.

Vintage Information

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 but 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; grapes harvested prior to mildew or rot setting in were showing excellent levels of acidity, lower alcohol content and fine tannins.


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.

Tasting Notes

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.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2014
Grape varieties 100% Malbec
Region Valle de Uco, Mendoza
Winemaker Alberto Antonini, Attilio Pagli, Leonardo Erazo
Alcohol (ABV) 14%
Acidity 4.5g/l
Residual Sugar 1.27g/l
Wine pH 4