Achaval Ferrer's entry level wine is an outstanding ambassador for the Malbec grape.
Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below)...
... and awarded 95 points and Outstanding status in their October 2017 edition review of South American Extreme Viticulture (see blue link below)...
... and awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status in their October 2016 edition review of Argentina (see blue link below).
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.
The wine was matured in 3,500 litre untoasted oak foudres for 18 months, and a further 12 months in bottle. There was a coarse filtration prior to bottling, to ensure that the quality of the wine was not interfered with.
Fresh and delicate on the nose showing layers of red cherries and raspberries combined with herbal notes of wild rocket and thyme and a touch of minerality. On the palate it is elegant and supple with fine tannins providing structure. A graceful, complex, deep and structured wine with considerable length.
Deep ruby with a hint of blue on the rim. The nose displays traditional notes of red fruits, cherries and freshly picked plums. This wine is all about freshness - the palate is supple and juicy, with soft but structured tannins and a pleasant finish.
Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2016 edition review of Argentina (see blue link below).
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.
Grapes were harvested by hand with delicate and conscious bunch selection. The de-stemmed berries were loaded by gravity to allow a gentle breaking of skins. During fermentation very gentle treatment was used to avoid over extraction. The juice was fermented using native yeast. The wine was matured in 3,500 litre untoasted Foudres (wooden casks) 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.
A brilliant, purple-red in colour with an enticing nose of flowers, ripe red and black fruits mixed with subtle notes of graphite and flint stone. The complexity of the nose develops further with time and air. The palate is creamy with good depth and softness. Fresh, juicy red fruit flavours abound with round, firm tannins and a backbone of well-integrated acidity. A balanced, complex and long-lasting finish.
Awarded 91 points and Highly Recomended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) - in their December 2017 edition - in their Weekday Wines column (see blue link below)... (yes, and cheaper than your local high-street boutique supermarket...)
Opaque black in colour, with flashes of violet and an ethereal, highly complex nose with notes of red and black fruits, spices, smoke, forest groves and sweet, fresh wood. The palate has excellent breadth and depth of juicy fruit. The acidity is fresh and the tannins are firm but fine-textured, supporting the berry flavours well on the long, elegant finish.
The Amalaya wines offer incredible value for their quality and truly reflect their ‘sense of place‘. All of the Amalaya wines are fruit driven in style, with a finesse that unites them.
This is Amalaya's flagship wine. The fruit (90% Malbec, 5% Tannat, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) for this single vineyard speciality comesf rom the San Isidro vineyard located in the Cafayate Valley in the very heart of the Calchaqui Valley. At 1800 metres above sea level, it is distinguished for being the highest wine region in the world. The climate here is very dry, with just 150mm of rain in an average year and a huge temperature difference of around 20°C. The soils are rocky, poor and sandy so the roots of the vines are forced to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a huge concentration of flavour within the fruit. After careful sorting by hand at the winery, the grapes were barrel fermented in new French oak for 60 days. Malolactic fermentation took place and once complete, the wine was then aged in French oak for a period of 12 months.
The wine itself is deep and intense in colour. Black fruit and spices on the nose, with floral undertones. Well-balanced, the palate is complex and full-bodied with fine grained tannins.
The Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon lend ageing potential to this wine, and it should improve for at least 8-10 years.
Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below).
Andeluna was founded in 2003 by the late Ward Lay whose family had interests in many industries and companies including Frito-Lay and Pepsico. The vineyard covers 70 hectares in the beautiful Uco Valley near Tupungato, one of the best sub-regions of Mendoza. By night you can often see the moon illuminating the magnificent Andes Mountains nearby and the winery has been named after this stunning scene. At an altitude of 1,300 metres the vineyard produces some of the best fruit in Argentina. Their winemaker, Manuel Gonzalez (previously Head Winemaker at Pulenta Estate and Chief Enologist at Trivento) works alongside Andeluna's wine consultant Hans Vinding Diers making outstanding wines which have propelled this producer into the world spotlight in a very short space of time.
The grapes come from the vineyard located in Tupungato, which is situated at an altitude of 1,300 metres above sea level. The area is characterised by its great diurnal temperature swings, which encourages aromatic expression and a great intensity of colour in the wine.
100% Malbec. Grape clusters were hand selected prior to vinifcation and underwent a prefermentation maceration at low temperatures. Fermentation took place with natural yeasts in stainless steel tanks at temperatures maintained at approximately 26°C. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for eight to 12 months, followed by six months in bottle, prior to release.
This is a full flavoured Malbec with intense aromas red fruits and violets combined with delicate hints of vanilla, coffee and chocolate. Sweet fruit on the palate is backed by soft, but high volume tannins which give the wine a long and exquisite finish.
This Malbec has a dark violet colour and offers concentrated aromas of black plums, black cherries and blackberries. These vibrant black fruit flavours provide a pleasing weight on the palate and supple mouth texture.
This superb Malbec has a deep violet colour and offers concentrated aromas of black cherries and chocolate notes. The rich blackberry and black currant fruit flavours are rounded off perfectly by soft, supple tannins.
Intense red violet colour. Red fruit notes such as raspberries mix with prunes, spices, tobacco, chocolate and a hint of coffee on the nose. Full-bodied and smooth on the palate with rounded tannins. Notes of coffee and bitter chocolate from the oak ageing add complexity to the mature red fruit character on the long, well-balanced finish.
The luscious, intense fruit aromas have hints of ripe plums, cherries and blackberries. These aromas continue on the palate with a generous mouthfeel and great weight, while remaining soft and silky.
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Big Brand South American wines (below £13!) (see blue link below).
In 1885, the Buenos Aires to Mendoza railway opened, cementing the significance of this emerging wine-growing region high in the Andean foothills. Ten years later, Edmund Norton planted the first vines in Mendoza’s Luján de Cuyo district. At 900-1100 metres, the altitude moderates the temperature, causing an extended ripening season, and also expose the vines to more ultraviolet light, which encourages the development of colour and tannin in the black-skinned varieties. The result is whites packed with vibrant flavour and good natural acidity, and well-structured, food-friendly reds.
Half the blend comes from vineyards situated at 1100 metres above sea level in the Luján de Cuyo region of western Mendoza, and half comes from the Uco Valley to the south. The age of the vines is between thirty and fifty years. The grapes are hand-picked into small baskets, with hand selection of the berries. Following a five-day cold maceration, the wine underwent a fermentation with native yeasts for seven days at a temperature of 25°C. Maceration lasted for 25-30 days at 20°C, and the malolactic fermentation was 100% natural. The wine was aged for twelve months in first- and second-use French oak barrels, and then for ten months in bottle prior to release.
Round and velvety, with flavours of ripe black fruit, violets, spices and tobacco. Long and complex on the finish.
Intense, deep red colour with fine hints of crimson.The nose offers pleasant aromas of red and dark fruit, with redcurrants, also some mint and cedar. The bouquet fills out with notes of vanilla, spices and mocha, characteristic of French oak.This is a dense, complex wine, with a good tannin structure. The lingering finesse of the tannins gives the wine good length and a pleasant, soft mouthfeel. Deep, aromatic and complex with very appealing intense fruit.
Family vintners for over 100 years, the Catenas are recognized for their pioneering role in high-altitude viticulture and in leading Argentina's Malbec revolution. In the 1950´s, Don Domingo Catena began sourcing Malbec from the historic vineyards of Vista Flores. Domingo prized the region's Malbec for its dark colored and structured tannins.
This wine goes through cold maceration for 5 days at 50ºF (10ºC). The juice is then fermented for 16 days with a post-fermentation maceration of 10 days. 12 months in barrel (35% new). Barrel selection varies depending on vineyard and vintage. 85% French, 15% American oak.
The flavours and aromas are plums, dark chocolate and blackberries with some spice and pepper.
This wine is suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.
The Catena wines are a special assemblage of High Mountain Estate Vineyards made by fourth generation vintner, Laura Catena and chief winemaker, Alejandro Vigil. Although we have found that most of the Catena wines are consumed shortly after release, we are pleased to see that they age beautifully for ten to twenty years. Through decades of study and exploration within Mendoza's high altitude mountain terroirs, the Catena family has identified special locations for its Estate vineyards. From the marriage of these historic vineyards emerges a wine of unique character that has natural balance, concentration and a distinct varietal identity.
This wine goes through an extensive cold maceration for 5 days at 48ºF (8,8ºC) to extract aromas. The juice is then fermented for 16 days with a post-fermentation maceration of 22 days. Wild Yeasts. Elevage: 12-14 months in barrel. Barrel selection varies depending on vineyard and vintage - First, second and third use barrels used.
Ripe, concentrated dark fruit aromas with delicate floral notes and traces of vanilla and mocha. Rich and lush on the palate, with concentrated black cherry and red currant fruit flavours layered with sweet spices, tobacco and a touch of leather. The finish presents soft, supple tannins with bright, crisp acidity and a flinty minerality which gives the wine exceptional length.
This wine is suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.