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Altos Las Hormigas Appellation Gualtallary Malbec 2014

Altos Las Hormigas Appellation Gualtallary Malbec 2014

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"The other appellation Malbec comes from the hottest place (not in temperature, but in terms of market demand) in the Valle de Uco, where the grapes for the 2014 Malbec Appellation Gualtallary are grown. This is significantly cheaper than most wines of this quality. I was a little disappointed with the performance of this wine in 2013 and was looking forward to 2014. The soils here are rich in calcium carbonate, but in the shape of caliche (a kind of marl with plenty of chalky material, iron and clay), which provide for more tannic wines. The destemmed grapes fermented in small concrete vats with indigenous yeasts without the use of any pumps. The wine matured in used, untoasted 3,500-liter French oak foudres for a period of some 18 months. It feels fresher, perhaps a little herbal and definitely more ethereal than the Altamira. Yes, it's more tannic, because the tannins are abundant, but they feel very fine-grained. This year I favor Gualtallary over Altamira. There is more complexity here. 9,333 bottles produced and filled after a light filtration in January 2016. Drink: 2016-2026. 95 points

I tasted with Pedro Parra, one of the partners at Altos Las Hormigas and a renowned expert in soils. They are in a continual change, but the wine that has changed more this time is the Malbec Clásico, which is now produced with a high percentage of grapes from limestone soils from the Valle de Uco. They have also stopped producing the Vista Flores appellation, but might release more bottlings from Gualtallary in the future."

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (228)