2017 Altos Las Hormigas, Gualtallary Malbec, 6x750ml

2017 Altos Las Hormigas, Gualtallary Malbec, 6x750ml

2017 Altos Las Hormigas Gualtallary Malbec

Availability: In stock

Case size: 6 / Bottle size: 750ml

Duty Status
From £175.00

Critics Score: 96

Publication: Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate

Drinking Dates: 2019-2030

After some ups and downs in past vintages, the 2017 Malbec Appellation Gualtallary is every bit as good as the already superb 2017. It's expressive, mineral and vertical, austere, like biting into chalk. It's produced with grapes from a rented plot in a somewhat fashionable appellation that is quite large and diverse. The palate is super austere, dry, serious and mineral, while the nose is expressive and has the wilderness of the place with unusual elegance and freshness for a year like 2017. It finishes long and tasty, with some violets. Could this be their best Gualtallary to date?

2017 Altos Las Hormigas Gualtallary Malbec

Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo, the first officially recognised appellation in Mendoza and one of the region's premium vine growing areas. The estate is known as a Malbec specialist with a reputation as one of the country's top five producers of this particular variety. Alberto Antonini and fellow Tuscan, Antonio Morescalchi, were so impressed with the vineyards in the area around Mendoza, following their first trip to Argentina in 1995, that they persuaded a few friends to join with them in buying this estate. The estate covers 88 hectares with 56 in production.

100% of this Malbec was grown on the loamy soils of Gualtallary, lying at 1,300 metres above sea level. There, limestone-covered pebbles and gravels occupy 50-60% of the soil volume, with a high percentage of free calcium carbonate giving the wine a chalky, fresh minerality. A small percentage of clay (3%) allows the Malbec to express fresh fruit flavours.

The grapes went through a double selection process and then released by gravity into small concrete tanks. Fermentation began with indigenous yeasts at a controlled temperature of 24°C and continued for 15 days. Pumping over was not carried out in order to minimise over-extraction of grape skin compounds. Instead, the cap was rotated by manual pigeage throughout the fermentation. The wine was matured in 3,500 litre untoasted foudres for 22 months, followed by 6-12 months in bottle.