The Merlot Old Vines From Patagonia Matias Riccitelli was sourced from forgotten vines that are 60 years old. This rediscovered vineyard is situated along the Rio Negro’s riverside in Allen, Rio Negro, Patagonia. Situated on the 39° latitude south, the sunlight exposure can be intense, but the nights are cool. These diurnal temperature swings encourage a longer ripening period and flavour concentration in the berries. The ungrafted vines are grown in sandy, clay loam soils and are cultivated traditionally with a Vertical Shoot Positioning training system and are irrigated via flooding.
The grapes were harvested at optimal levels of maturity. Carefully sorted, the berries were transferred into small concrete vats with indigenous yeasts. Cold maceration lasted for five days, followed by fermentation at controlled temperatures of between 26° to 28°C. A long post-fermentation maceration lasted for 20 days, ensuring the extraction of colour, flavour and structure. 50% of the wine was aged in first, second and third use barrels, while the remaining 50% was aged in French oak vats of 1,000 litres.
Matias Riccitelli is the son of renowned winemaker Jorge Riccitelli. Having worked at some of the most prestigious wineries in Argentina and several vintages around the world, Matias used his experience, knowledge and passion and set up his own winery in 2009. His vineyards cover 50 hectares located in three selected sites within the premium growing region of Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza. This is a young and dynamic project in which Matias is seeking to express the full potential of Argentine terroir.