PRODUCER: Alberto Antonio and his Tuscan friend, 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 vineyards and winery are situated in Lujan de Cuyo, one of Mendoza’s premier vine growing areas. The estate covers 216 hectares, of which 40 were planted between 1996 and 1999. Altos Las Hormigas are known as Malbec specialists with a reputation as one of the countries top five producers of this variety, a fact which was recognised by the recent Decanter Gold medal for the Reserva 2007.
VINTAGE INFORMATION: A mild Winter was followed by a very dry Spring with average temperatures. Summer was very hot and dry, giving a powerful character to the vintage. Irrigation management was crucial to extend the ripening process and ensure good quality of grapes. The grapes were picked in late March/early April.
VINIFICATION: Grapes from different vineyards were vinified separately before the final blend. After de-stemming and crushing, fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel at 28C. During the 15 day fermentation-maceration process the must was pumped over and punched down for optimal extraction of ripe tannins and good colour. A brief period of oak treatment was carried out to emphasise the natural spiciness of the variety. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration and was released after three months in bottle.
TASTING NOTE: Deep purple-red in colour with a youthful rim. On the nose it has aromas of smoky cherries and a hint of violets with a touch of spice. Powerful and generous, it has a lovely structure, with smooth, ripe tannins, chunky autumnal fruit characters and a long finish.