Altos Las Hormigas is a renowned project dedicated to exploring Argentina's geology. Altos Las Hormigas' Malbec Terroir 2014 is an elegant, expressive red.
Anthony Gismondi's guest note:
If there was a perfect method to approach malbec the Los Hormigas Terroir Series would be it—along with a firm dose of “less malbec and more Argentina.” It’s all Uco Valley fruit, all harvested by hand from a mix of two high-density vineyards, one at Vista Flores and two spots in Tupungato. They describe the soil as “gravelly, alluvial with abundant stones but with limited active limestone presence.” Severe frost reduced the 2014 crop by 30% before the famed, dry, Zonda winds challenged the flowering, further lowering yields. Late rains added to the woes. In the end, what was left was good, showing the floral stony, savoury notes, red orchard fruits and minerality everywhere. Long, delicate and structural, it is all Antonini which really means it’s all site and no Antonini.
Altos las Hormigas is a globally-renowned and exciting project involving Alberto Antonini (winemaker/grower) and Pedro Parra (geologist/winemaker). These international superstars are dedicated to exploring the special limestone/clay terroirs of high-altitude Mendoza, and showing that Argentina can produce distinct, world-class wines. The mantra at Altos Las Hormigas is less Malbec, more Argentina. The idea is that fastidious farming on carefully chosen, high altitude limestone terroirs might produce more complex and distinctive wines. The Terroir Malbec is a testament to this ethos: limestone-derived minerallity from the Mendoza subzone of the Uco Valley adds elegance and brightness to the potent cherry and blueberry fruit. Complex elevage adds even more nuance: 50% of this Malbec is aged in cement piletas (pools) for 12 months, 25% in stainless steel vats, and 25% is aged in untoasted large oak foudres. It's a celebration of both grape and place, and we suggest a proper Argentine pairing of grilled meat and chimichurri sauce.