Altos las Hormigas Clasico Malbec 2018
The 2018 vintage – marked by the always present sun of Mendoza – shows in the concentrated and lively color of this wine: a bright violet red. On the nose, the variety fully unfolds, with its characteristic notes of fresh red plums, but also displaying aromas of strawberries and a subtle note of peppermint. The palate presents great intensity, character and a silky texture, highlighted by juicy red fruit flavors with an interesting note of pepper. This is a pleasure wine that lingers in the mouth. A classic Mendoza Malbec from an exceptional quality vintage, ideal to pair with various dishes, from red meats to pasta or grilled vegetables.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A bright and breezy Malbec from a terroir-driven winery, with fruit taken from vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo and Uco Valley at an average of 1,000m. It's aged for 12 months in concrete vats to preserve the fruit purity, packed full of juicy, ripe raspberry and savoury plum with gentle hints of liquorice and spice.
This has aromas of brambly dark berries and violet flowers with cassis in the mix, too. The palate has a juicy and succulent feel with fine tannins that make a long, even and attractive shape.
The unoaked 2018 Malbec Clásico 2018 comes from a very good year, after 2013 and 2014, which were very difficult years, and 2015 and 2016 that saw lots of rain. According to winemaker Leo Erazo, it's the most complex wine to make because of the many different sources of grapes, growers and the volume they make. But they planted 22 hectares in 2012, so they use more of their own grapes; the wine now has some 30% of grapes from Valle de Uco, which is always a cooler region that is noticed in the wine, which is very balanced, harmonious and easy to drink. It has a dusty note and fine tannins; it's elegant and especially very drinkable.
In 1995 Alberto Antonini, a well-known Tuscan winemaker, and Antonio Morescalchi, a young entrepreneur, took a trip to visit the burgeoning wine areas of South America. It only took one stop to find what they were looking for. They were immediately impressed by the vineyards thriving in the high altitude and dry climate of Mendoza, and were captivated by the whispered traditions and blend of cultures.
They returned to Tuscany powerfully impressed not only by the region, but also by the unexplored potential of Malbec, a grape that had a strong local tradition but was largely ignored and misunderstood. While the rest of the wine world saw Mendoza struggling to shed its bulk wine image, the two young Italians saw Mendoza as a place where traditional viticultural values and unblemished land could be reinvigorated with a modern winemaking approach and international experience. Instead of planting Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as many others were doing during the 1990s, the team decided to invest their confidence in Malbec. Today, Malbec is the varietal for which Argentina is best known.
Against all odds they cemented their vision to become Terroir Specialists Shortly after, two friends and business partners, also enthused by the idea, joined the venture: Attilio Pagli, a renowned Tuscan winemaker with two 100 point-scoring wines in his personal record and Carlos Vazquez, an Argentine Agronomist, who work for 20 years with the early Catena group, planting new varieties, developing previously unknown vineyard sites and contributing greatly to the qualitative change of Argentine viticulture early on.
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.
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.