Altos las Hormigas Uco Valley Terroir Malbec 2011
Malbec from Argentina, South America
This profuse red, violet hued wine is meant to reflect the expression of Malbec under the cooler climate of Uco Valley. Its bouquet opens with cheerful red berries such as red currant or bing cherry, which you find again on the palate, combined with a hint of fennel and subtle smoky notes. With friendly, supple tannins and a balanced structure between crisp and plentiful fruit, it is for us an example of juiciness. Dainty spices on the finish make it pleasing to drink alone or a perfect pair for a casual meal. Open half an hour before pouring.
Wine Spectator - "Lithe and open-textured, offering notes of paprika and dark chocolate to the dark plum, cherry and boysenberry flavors. This boasts an ironclad structure, showing accents of hot stone and sandalwood on the finish. Drink now through 2018. 7,000 cases made."
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.
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