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  • Zuccardi Fosil Chardonnay 2020


    The 2020 Fósil San Pablo was produced with Chardonnay from San Pablo, a cooler region where they feel the grape behaves very well, but the variety is not mentioned on the label, where they want to show the Estancia San Pablo landscape, five different soils. The clusters were pressed and the juice fermented in concrete and 30% in 500-liter oak barrels with an élevage in those same containers. The whites don’t go through malolactic. This has 13.5% alcohol and very good freshness and acidity but shows more generous with more volume and riper aromas, reflecting a warmer vintage. In this warmer year, they harvested much earlier, two weeks earlier than the 2019 that I tasted next to it. The 2020 is a little darker and more generous. 3,500 bottles were filled in December 2020. Drink: 2022-2029. 94 points

    The Zuccardi family has eight vineyards in the Valle de Uco; they are planting 35 hectares of white in San Pablo, one of the best places for whites for them, and they keep buying more land and vineyards there, working mostly organically, but they have to find a solution for the ants. So, there’s no certification in any of the wines there; it’s on the way—no herbicides or any systemic treatments—but right now they cannot certify the vineyard. They have around 300 hectares of vines planted in smaller (40- to 50-hectare) vineyards and produce 1.7 million bottles. But they focus on vineyard work in Altamira, San Pablo and Gualtallary. They are gradually abandoning the 500-liter barrels and moving more to large oak foudres of 2,500 and 5,000 liters. Polígonos are village wines, Aluvional are lieu-dit (paraje) wines, and then there are the single vineyard wines—and even sub plots!

    For Sebastián Zuccardi, 2019 and 2022 have been excellent and cooler years (2019 the best), 2018 and 2021 are classical (not too warm and not too cold, close to 2022) and 2020 and 2017 warm years. 2016 was exceptionally cold and rainy. The wines are phenomenal, the work they do is impressive, and they are at the very top of the pyramid of the quality producers from Argentina. The level of precision here is amazing; they might very well be the finest producer in Argentina at the moment. The Malbecs from Piedra Infinita are very transparent with the condition of the year and the soils, and tasting them together is fascinating.

    They started working more seriously on their whites around 2013, and this time, they presented three more whites—one Semillon and two Chardonnays. They consider 2021 a very good year for them and superb for whites, when they have produced some of their best whites to date.

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (11/22)

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