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Altocedro Ano Cero Malbec 2017

Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
  • D92
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • JS90
13.9% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP89
  • WW91
  • JS90
  • JS92
  • D90
  • RP90
  • WS89
  • W&S91
  • WS88
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13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Altocedro's winamker strived for this terroir driven Malbec to be fresh, fruit-forward, and easy-to-drink.

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
D 92
Decanter
Energetic blueberry and blackberry aromas, with abundant spice, red cherry blossom and a lovely purity. Fine textured and elegant.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Produced with grapes from vineyards in different subzones of La Consulta in the Valle de Uco, the 2017 Año Cero Malbec fermented with indigenous yeasts in concrete vats, and one-third of the volume matured in French oak barrels for ten months. It mixes four different wines, fermented and kept separate until after malolactic, so there is a palette of wines to play with and handle the different years, which also adds complexity. It has very good freshness and notes of beef blood and iron, not too showy, more subtle and reticent, slowly developing some floral aromas. Like the other wines in this range, it shows very good varietal characteristics, and in the unusual 2016 vintage, it shows great freshness and almost no oak impact. The palate is juicy, fresh and tasty, with almost unnoticeable tannins. Delicious.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Clear-cut black cherry and cassis aromas are tight and not overtly oaky. A tight, drawing palate is dry as a bone for Malbec, and nicely focused. Savory berry and plum flavors are lightly peppery prior to an intense finish, with gripping tannins and minerality.
JS 90
James Suckling
A dark and dramatic malbec. Some chocolate as well as a ton of mulberry and plum fruit. A big, very ripe wine that has a lot to offer, but might be too much for some.
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Altocedro

Altocedro

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Altocedro, Mendoza, Argentina
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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.

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By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originated 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.

EPC37498_2017 Item# 506486