Altos las Hormigas Riserva Malbec 2006
Malbec from Argentina, South America
The hand picked grapes go through a double sorting table and are gently crushed before going into small, short and wide stainless steel tanks to begin the fermentation which is done by native yeasts; the cap management is conducted with punching downs and rack and returns to maximize the extractions of colour and flavor from the skins always in a soft way to avoid any overdoing. The time between crushing and pressing is approximately 30 days of which about 10 are of primary fermentation and 20 of extended maceration, during the whole time the temperature is kept around 28-30 Celsius degrees to gain depth
and volume in the mouth. Right after pressing the wine goes straight
into barrels (only tight grain French oak) and does the malolactic and
the whole ageing which last 20 months; by doing this we achieve a perfect marriage between oak and wine as the wine itself at this stage is still rich in polysaccharines and lees that combine with the oak tannins. The wine is then bottled unfined.
Altos las Hormigas Winery
(ahr-jen-TEE-nah) Now fifth in the world for wine production, Argentina is catching up in the quality wine sector. A long time wine producer, Argentina used to make wine in order to drink it, not export it. And so the wines produced were quaffable and rustic and made for the local's everyday dinner. Yet it's hard not to get caught up in the wine market of the world and some winemakers decided it was time for Argentina to show their stuff. Better winemaking technology was brought in, new winemaking techniques were learned and good viticulture practices flourished. The result? World-class wines with unique style and variety.
Notable Facts Unlike 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 America
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard Chile
are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
1 rating, 1 with review
I love Malbecs -- and this is a good one.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most 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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.