Founded in 1995 by a consortium of prominent Italian winemakers, including Alberto Antonini of Antinori and Antonio Morescalchi, Altos Las Hormigas has always been evolving. Their Terroir Project is working towards the creation of an appellation system in Mendoza while showing Malbec’s diversity of expression according to its origin. Based on this philosophy, their portfolio shows the tremendous versatility of the Malbec.
In 2012, Altos Las Hormigas took a significant step in their ongoing evolution from boutique value winery to the terroir-driven, serious player in the world of Malbec that they are today. After seeing the potential for wines of consequence in the Uco Valley, the team decided to stop using new oak and small barriques for all of their wines; instead of going with older, untoasted, large oak foudres across the board. This decision has allowed for much more expression and elegance, especially on the sublime Appellation series of Malbec, which features the limestone-driven Uco Valley sites of Gualtallary, Altamira, and Vista Flores.
This Gualtallary bottling is of Malbec grown in loamy soils, lying at 1,300 meters above sea level. Limestones covered pebbles and gravels occupy 50-60% of the soil volume, with a high percentage of free calcium carbonate in the profile granting to the wine a chalky, fresh minerality. 3% of clay in the fine matrix allow Malbec to express fresh fruit flavors, for a strong but well-integrated roundness on the palate.
The grapes go through a double selection process and are released by gravity into small stainless steel tanks for pre-fermentation maceration at 5°C for 7 days. The alcoholic fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts at 24°C for 15 days. In order to maintain careful, gentle handling, pumping is not used; the cap is rotated by manual pigeage throughout the fermentation, and once this is completed, post-fermentation macer
Altos Las Hormigas Gualtallary Reserve Malbec 2017
Shelf Price $45.99
Sale Price $39.97
96+ pts Wine Advocate
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?