Altos las Hormigas Appellation Paraje Altamira Malbec 2014 Front Label
Altos las Hormigas Appellation Paraje Altamira Malbec 2014 Front LabelAltos las Hormigas Appellation Paraje Altamira Malbec 2014 Front Bottle Shot

Altos las Hormigas Appellation Paraje Altamira Malbec 2014

  • RP94
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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  • RP95
  • TA94
  • JS93
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This Malbec grows in the alluvial terrace of Altamira, lying at 1,200 meters above sea level, where limestone covered pebbles and gravels occupy 85% of the soil volume, granting to the wine elegance and minerality. 3% of clay in the fine matrix allow Malbec to express fresh red fruit flavors, as well as a delicate and elegant roundness on the palate.

Elegant is the best way to describe this wine. Like a ballet dancer, full of strength and muscle – but linear, graceful and delicate. Deep ruby with hints of purple, with a captivating nose of freshly picked fruit, crisp plums, and fields of wild flowers. This Malbec dances on your palate, with round, silky, elegant tannins. The finish is long and complex, drawing you in for the next sip.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There are two separate wines from appellations in the Uco Valley, one of them the 2014 Malbec Appellation Altamira that comes from one appellation that has been officially named Paraje Altamira. This is a delicate Malbec from a low-yielding vintage, with up to 30% less grapes than the average, due to frost. The vines are located at 1,200 meters altitude on stony and chalky soils and the grapes fermented in small cement vats with indigenous yeasts, with punching down of the cap but without any pumping over. The wine matured in untoasted 3,500-liter French oak foudres for 18 months and was kept in bottle for one year before being released. Even if the foudres are the same as those used for the Gualtallary, the oak feels more present here. There are some spicy aromas over a core of red fruit, and notions of wet stones. There is more volume here than in the Gualtallary, and the tannins are more present, it fills your mouth and leaves an earthy sensation. Great price for the quality it delivers.
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Altos las Hormigas

Altos las Hormigas

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Altos las Hormigas, South America
Altos las Hormigas Winery Image
Wine from Mendoza is more than just Malbec: it is the reflection of a know-how, a tradition and an origin. Founded in 1995 by a consortium of prominent Italian winemakers, including Alberto Antonini of Antinori and Antonio Morescalchi, Altos Las Hormigas has always been evolving. Their Terroir Project is working towards the creation of an appellation system in Mendoza, while showing Malbec’s diversity of expression according to its origin. Based on this philosophy, their portfolio shows the tremendous versatility of the Malbec, from fresh, fruit driven Mendoza Clásico from Lujan de Cuyo to the structured and mineral Malbec Reserve from the Uco Valley. Along with Malbec, Altos Las Hormigas has been crafting Bonarda for 10 years, Argentina’s second most planted variety. They display its joyful and delicate nature under the classic line Colonia Las Liebres.

In 2012, Altos Las Hormigas took a significant step in their ongoing evolution from boutique value winery to the terroir-driven, serious player in the world of Malbec that they are today. After seeing the potential for wines of consequence in the Uco Valley, the team decided to stop using new oak and small barriques for all of their wines; instead going with older, untoasted, large oak foudres across the board. This decision has allowed for much more expression and elegance, especially on the sublime Appellation series of Malbec, which features the limestone-driven Uco Valley sites of Gualtallary, Altamira, and Vista Flores.

They’ve teamed up over the past decade with Pedro Parra, PhD in Terroir, to use various techniques to find both the ideal sites for their wines as well as a way to measure the ideal ripeness of their fruit. With Parra’s guidance, the team at Altos Las Hormigas has dug over 1,500 soil pits in the Uco Valley, chasing the chalky Mendoza gold that is limestone, which imparts a beautiful minerality to Malbec. In Gualtallary, Altamira, and Vista Flores, they have found the limestone trail, where the vineyards have shallow topsoil and the vines dive deep into the calcareous mother rock. They also use electromagnetism to map out the soil depth of their vineyard sites so that they can avoid picking a whole block where, due to the warm and hilly vineyards of Mendoza, there may be some underripe and overripe grapes in addition to the ideally ripe grapes. Instead, they use that information to harvest in irregular polygons, and pick the fruit with ideal ripeness in every section.

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Uco Valley Wine

Mendoza, Argentina

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With a winning combination of cool weather, high elevation and well-draining alluvial soils, it is no surprise that Mendoza’s Uco Valley is one of the most exciting up-and-coming wine regions in Argentina. Healthy, easy-to-manage vines produce low yields of high-quality fruit, which in turn create flavorful, full-bodied wines with generous acidity.

This is the source of some of the best Malbec in Mendoza, which can range from value-priced to ultra-premium. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay also perform well here.

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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.

SKRLHO078_2014 Item# 278993

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