Wines

As in wine, all plans need a long time to bring some reward, but the philosophy of terroir immediately decanted to all other practices at Altos Las Hormigas. We believe that each intervention on the wine means a step away from its origin. No intervention is impossible, but we try to do as little as possible in winemaking. Minimal extraction, neutral oak, natural yeast, very little sulfites are just a few items to mention, that guide us in what we do. We also seek naturally low alcohol through harvesting as early as possible in each soil type. Our dedication to terroir-driven wines has transformed not only our philosophy, but the evolution of the wines.

Malbec Clásico 2018

Mendoza

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Vineyard

Grapes come from vineyards in Luján de Cuyo. The region has a semi-desert climate with hot days and cool nights. We choose fresh soils, with good water drainage and a fine silt-sandy texture. These soils allow a deep development of the roots, since their water retention capacity is great for the roots to expand and give the plants a better ability to resist heat waves, which are common during the summer in Mendoza. In this climate we avoid soils with abundant superficial gravels, which increase the warming effect around the vine and might shorten the ripening season.

Vintage

In the months previous to the harvest the changing seasons brought quite variable weather. Spring kept us on our toes, with small pockets of frost lowering yields in the higher altitude vineyards, notably in the cool Paraje Altamira area of the Uco Valley. Some of the early days of summer reached temperatures of up to 40°C (104°F). However the climate conditions during the harvest were immensely favorable, with very little rain, allowing the team to pick the grapes according to schedule. Regionally, 2018 came close to “normal” grape volumes, with balanced yields and healthy grapes of excellent quality and good concentration. This was truly a fantastic vintage.

Winemaking

100% Malbec grapes harvested by hand. After a careful, double sorting process, the grapes are softly pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts in order to express the vineyard they come from. Fermentation takes place in separate stainless steel tanks between 24-28°C for 10 days. Each tank is tasted three times a day to determine what is needed. The wine is then aged for a minimum of 9 months in concrete vats. No oak aging.

Tasting Notes

The 2018 vintage – marked by the always present sun of Mendoza – shows in the concentrated and lively color of this wine: a bright violet red. On the nose, the variety fully unfolds, with its characteristic notes of fresh red plums, but also displaying aromas of strawberries and a subtle note of peppermint. The palate presents great intensity, character and a silky texture, highlighted by juicy red fruit flavors with an interesting note of pepper. This is a pleasure wine that lingers in the mouth. A classic Mendoza Malbec from an exceptional quality vintage, ideal to pair with various dishes, from red meats to pasta or grilled vegetables.

Technical Information

Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Malbec
Region: Mendoza
Winemakers: Alberto Antonini, Attilio Pagli, Leonardo Erazo
Closure: DIAM5
Alcohol: 13,5%
Acidity: 5.13 g/l
pH: 3.8
Residual Sugar: 2.03 g/l

Malbec Appellation Gualtallary 2016

Gualtallary, Uco Valley, Mendoza

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Vineyard

100% of this Malbec stems from the loamy soils of Gualtallary, lying at 1,300 meters above sea level. The soil presents limestone covered pebbles and gravels that occupy 50-70% of the soil volume, with a high percentage of free calcium carbonate in the profile granting to the wine a chalky, fresh minerality.

Vintage

A cold and rainy spring was the debut of a season marked by low average temperatures, very unusual for Mendoza standards. The cold spring made flowering period difficult, and also berry set. The grapes were affected by the rain, ripening at a much slower pace than previous vintages. These climate conditions caused a delay on the beginning of the harvest, of about a month. It was a harvest with low yields, with losses of around 40%, but gaining in great quality and concentration on the wines.
This fresher year was very favorable to the winery’s style: wines with freshness, balance, great character but also drinkability, and most certainly a sense of place. It was a harvest full of lessons; big but beautiful challenges and lots of learning… 2016 has been and will indeed be a memorable harvest.

Winemaking

The grapes go through a double selection process and are released by gravity into small concrete tanks. The alcoholic fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts at 24ºC for 15 days. In order to maintain a careful, gentle handling, pumping is not used; the cap is rotated by manual pigeage throughout the fermentation. The wine was matured in 3,500 ltr untoasted foudres for 22 months, and 6-12 months in the bottle. There was a coarse filtration prior to bottling, to ensure no interference with the quality of the wine.

Tasting Notes

This Malbec fully shows you its origins: Gualtallary. In this vintage particularly, the characteristics of this terroir favored the wine. Especially the soils of this appellation, with its marked slopes and its low humidity retention capacity, helped the excess of water –in a year that was more rainy than average in the area- to drain easily and benefit grape concentration.
A solid violet red color reveals a dense, concentrated, compact wine. Notes of spices and minerality make a complex nose. On the palate, a supple entry, dark berries and spices. A very structured and quite wild Malbec, with firm fine-grain tannins, showing its calcareous foundations and columns. The mouth feel is full of thrilling freshness and balance, with a long and persistent finish.

Technical Information

Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Malbec
Region: Gualtallary, Uco Valley, Mendoza
Winemakers: Alberto Antonini, Attilio Pagli, Leonardo Erazo
Closure: Natural cork
Alcohol: 14%
Acidity: 5.62 g/l
pH: 3.83
Residual Sugar: 1.92 g/l

Malbec Terroir Lujan de Cuyo 2017

Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza

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Vineyard

The vines are rooted in a high density organic vineyard polygon in our Luján de Cuyo estate.
The preparation of the soil included the addition of hummus, along with water management and organic coverage from day one, aiming for the roots to develop deep into the soil; a key factor to obtain wines with good quality and natural freshness, especially in warm climates. The soil here presents almost no clay but a great presence of limestone, ideal characteristics for the winery’s style.

Vintage

The climate transition from “El Niño” to “La Niña” pushed temperatures creating heat waves during most of January. Following our belief in early harvest we started picking up Malbec grapes in Lujan de Cuyo on February the 15th, as in the Uco Valley the Malbec harvest began on February the 24th. The weather during harvest was very favorable, unaffected by hail storms or frosting. Low yields where again a feature of this harvest that naturally improved the quality of the grapes, which are more concentrated and flavourful. 2017 will be very likely a collectors vintage, scarce and of the highest quality.

Winemaking

100% Malbec grapes hand-picked from an organic certified own vineyard. The grapes are released by gravity into small concrete tanks where the alcoholic fermentation takes place. The juice is fermented using native yeasts, at 24-28°C for 12 days. The wine is kept 18 months in the concrete tanks for aging, and 6 months in the bottle.

Tasting Notes

This Malbec comes from an organic vineyard with limestone soils, seeking to show a different expression of the traditional Lujan de Cuyo area as well as preserving the typical characteristics of the wines coming from this wine region. It displays a deep violet red color with purple hues. The nose is subtle, with aromas of red fruits and soft mineral notes. As the wine opens it shows some notes of mendocinian underbrush and lemon thyme. The palate is fresh, with notes of violets. Fine grain tannins reveal the limestone soils it comes from. It has a long and elegant finish, where the wine shows its structure and minerality. Ideal to pair with roasted red meats and spicy dishes.

Technical Information

Vintage: 2017
Varietal: Malbec
Region: Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza
Winemakers: Alberto Antonini, Attilio Pagli, Leonardo Erazo
Closure: DIAM
Alcohol: 13.3 %
Acidity: 5.25 g/l
pH: 3.85
Residual Sugar: <1.8 g/l

Tinto 2018

Mendoza

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Vineyard

Grapes come mainly from vineyards in Luján de Cuyo and Medrano in a smaller percentage. The region has a semi-desert climate with hot days and cool nights. We choose fresh soils, with good water drainage and a fine silt-sandy texture. These soils allow a deep development of the roots, since their water retention capacity is great for the roots to expand and give the plants a better ability to resist heat waves, which are common during the summer in Mendoza. In this climate we avoid soils with abundant superficial gravels, which increase the warming effect around the vine and might shorten the ripening season.

Vintage

The climate transition from “El Niño” to “La Niña” pushed temperatures creating heat waves during most of January. Following our belief in early harvest we started picking up our grapes on February the 15th. The weather during harvest was very favorable, unaffected by hail storms or frosting. Low yields where again a feature of this harvest that naturally improved the quality of the grapes, which are more concentrated and flavorful. 2017 will be very likely a collectors vintage, scarce and of the highest quality.

Winemaking

A blend of Malbec, Bonarda and Semillon grapes, harvested by hand. Careful, double sorting process, before fermentation. Malbec and Semillon grapes are co-fermented, while Bonarda is vinified separately before the final blend. Fermentation takes place in separate stainless steel tanks, at a temperature between 24-28°C, for 10 days. Only indigenous yeasts are involved in the process. Each tank is tasted three times a day to determine what is needed. The wine is then aged for a minimum of 9 months in concrete vats. No oak aging.

Tasting Notes

Our continuous search for the expression of Mendoza’s true identity in our wines has led us to elaborate, for the first time, a blend of three grapes: Malbec, Bonarda and Semillon. These three varieties are recognized by the Argentine wine community for their long history in the region and we believe they are now authentic Mendoza grapes.
This wine has a bright and attractive red color. On the nose, aromas of red fruits and spices prevail, but it also shows subtle citric notes, like fresh tangerine rind. The palate is round with a silky texture and concentrated flavors, an easy-to-drink wine. The finish is linear and refreshing, with a smooth and inviting acidity. This blend is a great pairing with Mediterranean cuisine, eggplant and tomato dishes; and it can also be enjoyed by itself.

Technical Information

Vintage: 2018
Varietal: 48% Bonarda - 45% Malbec - 7% Semillon
Region: Mendoza
Winemakers: Alberto Antonini, Attilio Pagli, Leonardo Erazo
Closure: DIAM5
Alcohol: 13.5%
Acidity: 5.29 g/l
pH: 3.6
Residual Sugar: 1.89 g/l

Malbec Terroir Uco Valley 2016

Uco Valley

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Vineyard

100% Uco Valley. Grapes are harvested by hand from a blend of high density vineyards located in the sub region of La Consulta as well as two areas in Tupungato. These are gravelly, alluvial soils with abundant stones, but with limited active limestone presence.

Vintage

A cold and rainy spring was the debut of a season marked by low averages temperatures, very unusual for Mendoza standards. The cold spring made a difficult flowering period, and also berry set. The grapes were also affected by the rains, ripening at a much slower pace than previous vintages. The lower average temperature meant a delayed on harvesting time of about a month. It was a harvest with low yields, with losses of around 40%, but gaining in great quality and concentration on the wines.
This fresher year was very favorable to the winery’s style: wines with freshness, balance, great character but also drinkability, and most certainly a sense of place. It was a harvest full of lessons, big but beautiful challenges and lots of learning… 2016 has been and will indeed be a memorable harvest.

Winemaking

Grapes from different vineyards are vinified separately before the final blend. The grapes are selected from a double selection table before going into small stainless steel tanks. The alcoholic fermentation begins with indigenous yeasts at 24-28°C, for 12 days. Each tank is tasted three times a day to determine what is needed. It is aged for a minimum of 18 months in concrete pools (75% of the wine) and untoasted large oak foudres (25% of the wine). Ageing for 6 months in the bottle.

Tasting Notes

The freshness of the Uco Valley invades this wine as it shows the ultimate expression of this special wine region in Mendoza. With an intense ruby red color, the nose is fruity and delivers some notes of violets. It has a medium-body palate underpinned by structured tannins, filled with flavors of ripe fruits. The finish is fresh, with a vertical mineral bouquet. It is ideal to pair with Mediterranean cuisine and red meats.

Technical Information

Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Malbec
Region: Uco Valley, Mendoza
Winemakers: Alberto Antonini, Attilio Pagli, Leonardo Erazo
Closure: DIAM
Alcohol: 13.2%
Acidity: 5.68 g/l
pH: 3.7
Residual Sugar: 1.70 g/l

Malbec Appellation Paraje Altamira 2017

Uco Valley

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Vineyard

100% of this Malbec stems from the alluvial terrace of Altamira, lying at 1,200 meters above sea level. The soil consists of 3% clay in the fine matrix with limestone covered pebbles and gravels that occupy 85% of the soil volume, giving the wine its elegance and minerality.

Vintage

The climatic transition from the “Niño” storm to the “Niña” storm increased the temperatures, bringing with it heat waves during the month of January. True to our philosophy of early harvest, on February 15 we began to collect Malbec grapes in Luján de Cuyo and on February 24 in the Uco Valley. During the harvest, the weather was very favorable, without the influence of hail storms or frosts. The general characteristic of the harvest was the low yield that accentuated the quality of the grapes, which presented higher concentration and flavor. The 2017 vintage is to search and treasure, as there will be fewer bottles available, but of high quality.

Winemaking

The grapes go through a double selection process and are released by gravity into small concrete containers. 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. The wine was matured in 3,500 ltr untoasted Foudres for 18 months, and 12 months in the bottle. There was a coarse filtration prior to bottling, to ensure no interference with the quality of the wine.

Tasting Notes

Finenesse and structure are one of the most difficult combinations to achieve in a wine. This Malbec from Jardín Altamira achieves this unique combination, and that fills us with pride. A wine of many layers, subtle and graceful, but of a fundamental structure that sustains and lengthens the sensation of the wine in the mouth, is the backbone that evokes the soil of calcareous origin, where the grapes come from. It is a wine where patience is rewarded by the different nuances that are displayed in the glass.

Technical Information

Vintage: 2017
Varietal: Malbec
Region: Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza
Winemakers: Alberto Antonini, Attilio Pagli, Leonardo Erazo
Closure: DIAM30
Alcohol: 13,5%
Acidity: 5.74 g/l
pH: 3.8
Residual Sugar: 1.46 g/l

Malbec Reserve 2015

Uco Valley

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Vineyard

Grapes from 100% calcareous soils in the Uco Valley; limestones over alluvial deposits of the Tunuyan River in Paraje Altamira and the alluvial with calcareous highlands of Gualtallary. The terraces contain medium pebbles with occasional boulders, covered with calcium carbonate paste of around 7-10% active lime, which contributes to the wine’s structure, texture and long, impressive finish.

Vintage

The 2015 harvest was challenging. November, December and January had extremely high temperatures which accelerated the ripening process in the vineyards. These temperatures and quick ripening can dramatically decrease the level of natural acidity in the fruit, as sugar levels rise. In order to avoid this we decided to harvest from mid-February to March 23rd, picking up all the Malbec, even from the high altitude, cooler climates and vigorous soils.

Winemaking

100% Malbec grapes harvested by hand with delicate and conscious bunch selection. During fermentation, pigeage and a very gentle treatment were used on the cap to avoid over extraction. The juice fermented using native yeasts. The wine was matured in 3,500 ltr untoasted foudres for 22 months, and 12 months in the bottle.

Tasting Notes

This wine is the clear expression of limestone soils in the Uco Valley. It has a deep ruby red color with violet hues; it is lively and attractive. The nose is complex, expressive and aromatic. This is a vertical Malbec with very fine grain tannins and velvety texture. The palate shows abundant ripe fruit notes and its oak aging only appears subtly in the finish. A long and persistent wine that will open in the glass.

Technical Information

Vintage: 2015
Varietal: Malbec
Region: Uco Valley, Mendoza
Winemakers: Alberto Antonini, Attilio Pagli, Leonardo Erazo
Closure: Natural cork
Alcohol: 13.8%
Acidity: 5.7 g/l
pH: 3.78
Residual Sugar: 1.83 g/l