The grapes to produce the Malbec “Appellation Gualtallary” Uco Valley Altos Las Hormigas went through a double selection process and were then released by gravity into small concrete tanks. Fermentation began with indigenous yeasts at a controlled temperature of 24°C and continued for 15 days. Pumping over was not carried out in order to minimise over-extraction of grape skin compounds. Instead, the cap was rotated by manual pigeage throughout the fermentation. The wine was matured in 3,500 litre untoasted foudres for 18 months, followed by six months ageing in bottle
100% of this Malbec was grown on the loamy soils of Gualtallary, lying at 1,300 metres above sea level. There, limestone-covered pebbles and gravels occupy 50-70% of the soil volume, with a high percentage of free calcium carbonate giving the wine a chalky, fresh minerality. A small percentage of clay (3%) allows the Malbec to express fresh fruit flavours.
The Altos Las Hormigas Estate born when the two friends and business partners Alberto Antonini and Antonio Morescalchi were impressed by Mendoza’s vineyards on their first visit in 1995 where they purchased 206 hectares (530 acres) in the rural township of Lujan de Cuyo. Alberto and Antonio work very closely with Pedro Parra (widely regarded as the South American expert on soil and vineyard mapping) in order to identify the best locations to grow their grapes. Their never-ending experimentation and desire to produce the best wines that Argentina can offer, has made Altos Las Hormigas a Malbec specialist, with a reputation as one of the country’s top producers of this variety.