Altos las Hormigas Malbec 2011
Malbec from Argentina, South America
Deep, purple-red hues hint at a classic, Mendoza Malbec. Delicate aromas of fresh black currant, wild blackberry and notes of soft vanilla blend with a subtle toasted-oak finish. The palate displays characteristics of the excellent 2011 vintage: juicy, elegant fruit, soft tannins and a balanced structure. The result is an honest, persistent Malbec.
Wine Spectator - "Rich yet nicely cut, with fresh acidity and fine tannins supporting tasty wild berry and currant notes that expand with hints of underbrush and spice."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep saturated red. Black plum, licorice and a note of chocolatey torrefaction on the nose. Sweet, suave and nicely deep, with a saline quality and good smoky complexity to its dark fruit and licorice flavors. Finishes broad, with sweet tannins. Not a particularly fruity style, but nuanced for a wine in this price range."
Altos las Hormigas Winery
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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.
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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.