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Altos las Hormigas Clasico Malbec 2011

Malbec from Argentina
  • WS88
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep, purple-red hues hint at a classic, Mendoza Malbec. Delicate aromas of fresh black currant, wild blackberry and notes of soft vanilla blend with a subtle toasted-oak finish. The palate displays characteristics of the excellent 2011 vintage: juicy, elegant fruit, soft tannins and a balanced structure. The result is an honest, persistent Malbec.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 88
Wine Spectator
Rich yet nicely cut, with fresh acidity and fine tannins supporting tasty wild berry and currant notes that expand with hints of underbrush and spice.
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Altos las Hormigas

Altos las Hormigas

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Altos las Hormigas, , South America
Altos las Hormigas
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.

Pouilly-Fuisse

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The source of some of the richest and most sought-after Chardonnays of the Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé represents a land of opportunity both for local growers and producers farther north in the Côte d’Or. Its soils are quite the same as farther north (limestone) but its weather is a bit warmer and land prices lower.

The appellation is restricted to the Chardonnay grape and includes the communes of Fuissé, Solutré (which includes Pouilly), Vergisson and Chaintré (see also mâcon villages). The richest Chardonnay comes from Fuissé and Solutré-Pouilly, whereas the Chardonnay at higher elevation from Vergisson expresses more minerality and finesse.

Tradition has the wines age one year in barrel before release and while maybe not offering the elegance of Beaune Chardonnay as a whole, they still age well and offer some of the very best values of the region. Pairing Pouilly-Fuissé with lobster or King Crab will bring great joy not only to your palate—but also your pocketbook!

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

PBC7804057_2011 Item# 117024

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