Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo, the only officially recognised...
appellation within 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.
This new wine is a blend of the three traditional Mendoza grapes, widely planted and blended before varietally labelled wines came into fashion. While Malbec and Bonarda continue to be the two most planted varieties in Mendoza, Semillon has fallen out of favour, with only 728 hectares left in 2017. In spite of this, winemaker Alberto Antonini believes Semillon is the most suitable white varietal for Mendoza, as it retains its natural acidity in the dry, sunny climate. The blend is both an interpretation of a classic Mendoza blend, as well as a nod to his native Tuscany, where Chianti was often made using a small amount of white grapes in the blend. Grapes for this wine come mainly from vineyards in Luján de Cuyo, with a small percentage coming from Medrano. The region has a semi-desert climate with hot days and cool nights. Soils in Luján de Cuyo have good water drainage and a fine silt-sandy texture. In soils such as these, vines put down deep roots, helping them resist heat waves, which are common during the summer in Mendoza. All work done in the vineyard was conducted according to biodynamic principles.
There were very high temperatures and minimal rainfall in January. Altos Las Hormigas started harvesting on 15th February. Weather during harvest was very favourable, unaffected by hail storms and frost. The vintage was characterised by low yields of concentrated grapes.
The Malbec, Bonarda and Semillon grapes were harvested by hand and a careful, double sorting process took place before fermentation. The Malbec and Semillon grapes were co-fermented, while the Bonarda was vinified separately before the final blend. Fermentation was carried out in separate stainless-steel tanks at a temperature between 24-28°C for 10 days. Only indigenous yeasts were used. Each tank was tasted three times a day to determine what was needed. The wine was then aged for nine months in concrete vats to add roundness to the blend. No oak was used.
This wine has a bright and attractive ruby colour. On the nose, aromas of red fruits and spices prevail, but there are also subtle citrus notes, like fresh tangerine rind. The palate is round with a silky texture. The finish is long and linear with refreshing acidity.
|Grape varieties||48% Bonarda
|Region||Valle de Uco, Mendoza|
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.