Altocedro La Consulta Select Malbec 2009
Malbec from Argentina, South America
We strive for a La Consulta-terroir driven Malbec that is fruitforward yet with some added complexity from the oak.
Altocedro means "tall cedar," and represents both winemaker and owner Karim Mussi Saffie's Lebanese-Argentine heritage, and a cedar tree which towers over the winery.
Wine Spectator - "Flashy toast gives this a mocha and anise jump start, backed by a core of crushed plum, blackberry and fig paste. A cocoa edge hangs on through the finish, with latent drive stretching it all out. Drink now through 2012. 900 cases imported."
The winery of Altocedro is located in the growing region of La Consulta, Valle de Uco, Mendoza. This is one of the premier Argentine growing zones. Limited production with sustainable growing practices make the Altocedro wines a cult-type wine in Argentina. Winemaker Karim Mussi Saffie focuses on producing terroir-driven wines.
All harvesting, sorting, and crushing are done in individual batches by hand using no machinery in the process. The vines range up to 70 years of age, with only 1,600 plants per acre, and strict harvesting of only 1.2 kg of grapes per vine. The extract is done with a gravity flow system developed at the winery over 100 years ago. View all Altocedro Wines
Notable FactsUnlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina's vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California's style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.
About South AmericaRelated Links:
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.