You may remember the 2014 and the follow up 2016 and 2017 vintages of Altos Las Hormigas Gualtallary? All very special, but the 2014 was first brought to my attention when I attended a terroir/limestone seminar and blind tasting conducted by world renown soil scientist Pedro Parra. The 2018 is the latest success from Pedro Parra’s collaboration with Altos Los Hormigas when he discovered a parcel Malbec growing on extremely rare limestone strata. Until Parra’s discovery this Malbec was typically blended with other sources, thus losing its distinctive terroir typicity. This is the highest rated Malbec (WA 97) ever produced by Altos Las Hormigas which has been a pioneer producer in the region for many years. See notes below by Luis Gutierrez, one of the world’s most respected palates for Spanish and Argentina/Chile wines. Personally, I just love this wine for its amazing aromas, refined texture and minerality alone! This wine exemplifies why limestone is the holy grail for compatible varieties!!
For now only 20 six packs have been allocated for the west coast, and we have secured three of them arriving December 23rd. I am sure there is more in the pipeline!
“The site-specific 2018 Malbec Appellation Gualtallary comes from specific soils, two plots that they believe transmit the maximum expression of limestone to Malbec, giving a structured wine with fine-grained tannins but a little wild. The vines are on stony and gravelly soils with a high percentage of limestone and sand with around 3% clay at 1,300 meters in altitude. The grapes fermented in small concrete vats with indigenous yeasts at some 25 degrees Celsius for 15 days. It matured in untoasted 3,500-liter French oak foudres for 18 months and no less than 12 months in bottle. This comes from sandy soils and very low yields that give it chalkier tannins and a savage way. This has a slightly rustic touch, vertical and with some lightness. There’s always a fresh touch of aromatic herbs (thyme and rockrose), with a textured palate and very tasty and clean flavors in the finish. 20,600 bottles were filled in September 2019. 2021-2030” – 97 points, Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate (March 31, 2021)