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Alta Vista Classic Malbec 2011

Malbec from Argentina
    14.5% ABV
    • JS90
    • WE87
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    14.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Shows intense aromas of plum, black cherry and exotic spices, with notes of coffee and vanilla from the oak barrels. The flavors on the palate are fresh, with good structure and soft tannins, and the finish is full and concentrated, with spice notes.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Alta Vista

    Alta Vista

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    Alta Vista, Argentina
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    Founded in 1997 and owned by the d'Aulan family, former owners of the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne house, Alta Vista is guided by the philosophy of expressing the best terroirs of Argentina and highlighting the typical Argentine varieties: Malbec and Torrontes. The winemaking team's system of terroir management led Alta Vista to produce the very first single-vineyard Malbecs in Argentina. Alta Vista has gained the respect of other wine professionals both in Argentina and in other wine-producing countries on the basis of the quality of its wines, which have been internationally classified as being among Argentina's finest.

    Argentina

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    With vineyards tretching along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains from Patagonia in the south to Salta in the north, Argentina is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic wine producing countries—and most important in South America.

    Since the late 20th century vineyard investments, improved winery technology and a commitment to innovation have all contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains is used heavily to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

    Argentina’s famous Mendoza region, responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, with Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley most noteworthy. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white.

    The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.

    Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it continued to flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. A French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. But it did not gain its current reputation as the country's national grape until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century.

    In the Glass

    Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of blackberry, plum and licorice, appropriately backed by aromas of freshly turned earth and dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, Malbec will be intensely ripe, and full of fruit and spice. From its homeland in Cahors, its rusticity shines; dusty notes and a beguiling bouquet of violets balance rich, black fruit.

    Perfect Parings

    Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

    Sommelier Secret

    If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

    EMP25655_2011 Item# 122047