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Altos Las Hormigas

ISSUE 173, MAR C H/AP R IL 2014

Stephen Tanzer

2011 Malbec Terroir Valle De Uco Mendoza Good dark red. Musky, slightly reduced aromas of blackberry, currant and licorice hint at almost stewy ripeness. Supple, sweet and seamless, with a fine-grained texture to the dark fruit and licorice flavors. Finishes with supple tannins and nice length. 88 2011 Malbec Reserve Valle De Uco Mendoza Bright medium ruby. Blacker and more medicinal than the 2011 Malbec Terroir, with a note of reduction to the blackberry and licorice aromas. Then juicier and more delineated in the mouth, offering good intensity and lift to the dark fruit, licorice and mineral flavors. There's a bit of porty chocolate here but this wine boasts good energy and depth. Finishes firm and bright, with serious tannic spine and noteworthy length. Less easygoing today than the Terroir bottling. 89 2009 Malbec Single Vineyard Vista Flores Mendoza Bright ruby-red. Black cherry liqueur and nutty oak on the port-like nose. Dense, sweet and very ripe but with good vinosity to the dark berry and nutty oak flavors. Very rich malbec but today the oak element overshadows the wine's fruit. Finishes with firm, dusty, building tannins. I'd give this a year or two to come into better harmony. 90

Chakana Stephen Tanzer

2012 Malbec Estate Selection Mendoza Good bright red-ruby. Musky aromas of blackberry, blueberry, licorice and bitter chocolate. Dense, thick and plush but not at all overly sweet. The dark berry flavors are accented by a subtle herbal quality. This seamless malbec finishes with sweet tannins and noteworthy persistence. Superconsultant Alberto Antonini advises here. 90 2012 Malbec Ayni Mendoza (15% alcohol): Bright, saturated ruby. Nutty oak and chocolate currently dominate black fruits on the nose. Lush, fat and pliant but with harmonious ripe acidity giving shape and energy to the blackberry and black plum flavors. Large-scaled and mouthfilling but very well balanced wine with considerable sex appeal. Finishes sweet and long. Drink this now or hold it for a few years. 91

Lagarde Stephen Tanzer

2009 Henry Gran Guarda No 1 Mendoza ($75) (a blend of 51% cabernet sauvignon, 25% malbec, 13% cabernet franc and 11% petit verdot): Bright red-ruby. Complex aromas of cassis, coffee, cocoa powder and licorice are lifted by notes of sexy oak spices, pepper and herbs. At once densely packed and juicy, with a light touch to the suave dark fruit, spice and pepper flavors. Not an opulent or thick style but boasts excellent depth and a lot of personality. Finishes with fine-grained, fully integrated tannins and excellent length. An emerging note of coffee oak adds to this wine's appeal. 91


Navarro Correas Stephen Tanzer

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Alegoria Gran Reserva Mendoza ($30) Good medium ruby. Currant and tobacco leaf aromas are lifted by pepper and herbs. Sweet, glyceral and deep, with varietally expressive flavors of currant, leather and fresh herbs. Pliant and suave in an Old World style. Finishes broad and long, with ripe tannins and noteworthy texture and length. Plenty of sex appeal here. 90


Bodega Renacer Stephen Tanzer

2010 R De Renacer Mendoza (15% alcohol; malbec with 2% cabernet franc): Brooding aromas of cassis, blackberry, violet, mocha and sexy oak, with nuances of mint and herbs. Fat, lush and ripe, with good density to the sweet cassis and glossy oak flavors. Slightly liqueur-like but enlivened by harmonious acidity. Finishes with big but fairly refined, building tannins and noteworthy length. 90 2011 Enamore Red Wine Mendoza (15% alcohol; a joint venture with the Amarone producer Allegrini; a blend of 45% malbec, 40% cabernet sauvignon, 10% bonarda and 5% cabernet franc; aged 12 months in new French oak; made partly from grapes dried on the vine by wind): Good bright red. Sexy aromas of redcurrant and tobacco are more European than New World. Lush and sweet, almost roasted, but with harmonious acidity leavening the wine's 8 grams per liter of residual sugar. Wonderfully gentle, smooth wine with very good length and lift. Held up very well in the recorked bottle. 91


Trapiche Stephen Tanzer 2010 Malbec Terroir Series Finca Ambrosia Gualtallary Mendoza (this finished with nearly five grams per liter of residual sugar, but also has the highest acidity of this trio of single-vineyard malbecs): Bright, deep ruby. Superripe aromas and flavors of smoky dark fruits, mocha, spices and violet. Thick, dense and seamless; superripe for 2010 but without any sense of heaviness. Classic expressive, graceful malbec that's lush and pliant already but has the noble tannins, breadth and palate-staining length to develop beautifully over the next several years in bottle. The Terroir Series represents a selection each year of Trapiche's best three malbec wines. All three of these list 15.5% alcohol on the label. 92

2010 Malbec Terroir Series Finca Orellana De Escobar La Consulta Mendoza Saturated bright ruby. High-pitched aromas of crushed cherry, violet, balsamic herbs and minerals. Juicy, tight and high-pitched; less sweet and pliant today than the Finca Ambrosia bottling but primary and superconcentrated. Distinctly savory wine with a long, firm, chocolatey aftertaste. 91(+?) 2010 Terroir Series Finca Suarez Lastra La Consulta Mendoza Saturated black-ruby. Aromas of blackberry, bitter chocolate and violet show an almost fig-like ripeness but are lifted by a hint of celery seed. Superconcentrated and backward, showing more obvious alcohol than the Orellana bottling today. A very ripe and powerful but youthfully aggressive style, with blackberry, bitter chocolate and violet aromas accompanied by a suggestion of black walnut. Impressively rich wine but rather extreme. 90(+?)?


Familia Zuccardi Stephen Tanzer

2010 Zeta Valle De Uco Mendoza ($45) (15% alcohol; an 87/13 blend of malbec and cabernet sauvignon): Bright medium ruby. Aromas of blackberry and inviting chocolatey oak. Dense, sweet and concentrated, showing considerable power and excellent definition to its primary dark berry and violet flavors. Finishes sappy and very long, with firm but ripe tannins and insinuating sweetness. An excellent showing, but give this at least a couple more years in the cellar. 91(+?)


Aziende in Argentina in consulenza con i nostri professionisti attilio pagli e alberto antonini  
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