Zuccardi Aluvional Gualtallary Malbec 2016


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“The 2016 Aluvional Gualtallary is a textbook example of the wild character of the place in a cold vintage. This comes from the subzone close to the monastery, a higher-altitude place (1,350 to 1,450 meters) with the influence of the Jaboncillo slopes and the caliche (a kind of limestone) in the soils. 2016 is a great example of how to tame the wilderness of the place, which, in the cooler year, means contained ripeness and superb texture. 2016 has to be the finest vintage for Gualtallary. 10,300 bottles were filled in February 2017. Drink: 2019-2032. 97 points

Zuccardi keeps working the origin of their wines, aiming to show the place in their wines while looking for balance. They’re also simplifying things, doing less in the winery and more in the vineyards.

I tasted 2016, a cool and wet year when they learned a lot: the wines have less alcohol and are better in the Valle de Uco than in the classical zone of Mendoza. For Zuccardi, it might be their finest vintage to date, where the top of the range really excels; the Finca Piedra Infinita really blew me away. 2017 was warmer and, together with 2016, very low yielding. 2018 was cooler than 2017; the wines are fresher, and it’s a more homogeneous year. Most people talk about a classical Mendoza vintage. I didn’t taste anything from the 2019 vintage, which was dry and cool (with temperatures almost as cold as 2016)—something unusual, as the vintages tend to be warm and dry or cold and wet. So, let’s wait for the 2019s, but in the meantime, there are some exceptional wines in the current offering.”

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (245)