Altocedro Reserva Malbec 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
First produced in the 2001 vintage, the 2015 Reserva Old Vine Malbec is a traditional red from three old vineyards in Altamira, Chacón and El Cepillo in La Consulta (Valle de Uco) harvested separately. It fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in French oak barrels for 18 months. This wine has always been produced from the same three vineyards from three very different zones of La Consulta, which balances the excess any of them can have. This has more ripeness compared with the wines from 2016 and perhaps a little more impact from the élevage. 7,200 bottles were filled in October 2017.
A rich and mellow wine with a lot of flesh and a hint of sweetness. Attractive berry fruit and a lively finish make this good to drink right now.
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.
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.
Celebrated for its bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec has enjoyed runaway success in Argentina since the late 20th century. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. A French agronomist, who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. Somm Secret—If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet with its combination of dense fruit and soft tannins.