2018 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Clasico
I’ve seen Argentinean wine, and in particular Argentinean Malbec, go through a lot of changes over the years. Maybe that’s why the wine cognoscenti tend to noy take it too seriously. Well, here is the one that is going to spin all their heads, change all their minds, and prove that Argentinean Malbec can compete as a world-class wine on any level – complexity of smell, depth of flavor, ageability, elegance on the palate, and length of finish.
I’ll stake my reputation on it – Altos Las Hormigas’ Malbec Clasico does it all.
Altos is a partnership among four guys, two of whom are famous Italian winemakers, two of whom are Argentinian vineyard owners. Collectively they’ve spent the last decade matching soil, microclimate, angle and aspect of sun exposure and different clonal selections of the Malbec grape.
The result? A Malbec like you have never tasted before:
The 2018 Altos Malbec opens with aromas of fresh black fruits, a Bordeaux-like sense of graphite, a savory, make-your-mouth-water touch of peppercorn-crusted grilled beef tenderloin. The palate is full-bodied, with a resounding bass note of blue and black fruits. But this is no simple fruit bomb and it never risks becoming jammy. This wine has an aristocratic-like bearing to itself. It’s both muscular and dense like a Second Growth Pauillac, but also complex, displaying an elegant heritage. Emerging on the finish are subtle hints of sous bois, savory notes of black truffles, pencil lead and wet earth. I would drink it now (southern hemisphere wines are always a vintage ahead because of harvest time) but it will go at least 12 more years in your cellar.
I know many, many, many people will pooh-pooh a wine at this price. And Malbec at any price.
But I dearly hope those people are still reading because here is a Malbec at an outstanding price that is taking Argentina to the next level of complexity, richness, and terroir specificity. Even your wine snob friends (like me) will be blown away.
“This has aromas of brambly dark berries and violet flowers with cassis in the mix, too. The palate has a juicy and succulent feel with fine tannins that make a long, even and attractive shaper. Drink or hold.” – James Suckling.