Wine Advocate 93 points - The 2013 Malbec Appellation Gualtallary is sourced from vineyards planted at 1,300 meters altitude in Gualtallary, the highest part of Tupungato in the Uco Valley, where the soils are eminently chalky and the wines are pure, fresh and supple, like this example. The wine fermented in small stainless steel vats and matured in 3,500-liter French oak foudres for some 18 months, which seems to be the new standard for elevage at Las Hormigas. The nose delivers what the appellation and vintage should be: an elegant, fresh, fruit- and soil-driven red, with a medium body. However, the palate is surprisingly dry, with earthy tannins that kind of flattens the otherwise serious and balanced palate. 11,196 bottles produced. (Sep 2015)
The most aromatic and the most refined of Altosí sub-regional Malbecs, this is sourced from comparatively young vineyards. Scented, subtle and very chalky, itís a classic example of a new style of Argentinean Malbec. Textured and very pure, this is classy winemaking from Alberto Antonini and his team.
|Wine maker notes
|100% of this Malbec stems from the loamy soils of
Gualtallary, lying at 1,300 meters above sea level. There, limestones covered pebbles and gravels occupy 50-60% of the soil volume, with a high percentage of free calcium carbonate in the profile granting to the wine a chalky, fresh minerality. 3% of clay in the fine matrix allow Malbec to express fresh fruit flavors, for a strong but well-integrated roundness on the palate.
|In 1995 Alberto Antonini, a well-known Tuscan winemaker, and Antonio Morescalchi, a young entrepreneur, took a trip to visit the burgeoning wine areas of South America. It only took one stop to find what they were looking for. They were immediately impressed by the vineyards thriving in the high altitude and dry climate of Mendoza, and were captivated by the whispered traditions and blend of cultures.
They returned to Tuscany powerfully impressed not only by the region, but also by the unexplored potential of Malbec, a grape that had a strong local tradition but was largely ignored and misunderstood. While the rest of the wine world saw Mendoza struggling to shed its bulk wine image, the two young Italians saw Mendoza as a place where traditional viticultural values and unblemished land could be reinvigorated with a modern winemaking approach and international experience. Instead of planting Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as many others were doing during the 1990s, the team decided to invest their confidence in Malbec. Today, Malbec is the varietal for which Argentina is best known.
Against all odds they cemented their vision to become Terroir Specialists Shortly after, two friends and business partners, also enthused by the idea, joined the venture: Attilio Pagli, a renowned Tuscan winemaker with two 100 point-scoring wines in his personal record and Carlos Vazquez, an Argentine Agronomist, who work for 20 years with the early Catena group, planting new varieties, developing previously unknown vineyard sites and contributing greatly to the qualitative change of Argentine viticulture early on.