The 2015 vintage (not yet UK available and not arriving for the foreseeable future; only the 2011 is available from the sole UK importer) has been awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition expert review of Argentina's Calchaqui Valley (see blue link below).
El Esteco Altimus 2011 - Oct 2018 Decanter review
Among the Calchaquí Valley’s lush vegetation, rivers and rocky mountains, there emerges, unexpectedly, a stretch of desert. At an altitude of 1,800 metres, with its radiant sunshine and ideal temperature range hot days and cool nights, the environment is perfect for the vine growing. And it is here, in the heart of this unique valley where El Esteco stands with 1,000 acres of vineyards. French immigrants David and Salvador Michel founded the winery in 1892, taking advantage of this special region to produce distinctive and elegant high-end wines, with great concentration of colour, deep aromas and well-defined flavours.
Altimus is the signature wine of El Esteco. Each year, Alejandro Pepa, the chief winemaker, changes its composition making every vintage unique and unrepeatable. This blend is made from the estates best parcels and from the harvest’s best grapes. Harvest is done either very early in the morning or at night when it is cooler and put into small 18 kg cases. A second selection is done in the crushing area and just the free run juice, which has greater concentration, is used for Altimus. Each varietal is vinified separately. After alcoholic fermentation in small stainless steel vats and spontaneous malolactic fermentation, the juice is pumped over to obtain maximum colour concentration before being placed in small French barrels to be aged for 12 months. After ageing, the final blend is made and placed once more in French barrels for 6 extra months. Finally, the wine is bottled unfiltered and un-fined to preserve the unique character
A complex wine with refined aromas of baked red fruits, dark chocolate and toasty oak. Ripe and powerful tannins give structure to the intense flavours of black fruits, liquorice & chocolate found on the palate.