I attended a tasting in San Francisco in June 2017. Importer Skurnik Wines, based in New York City, launched a California operation. Numerous wines and producers were present, including Antonio Morescalchi, founder and GM of Altos Las Hormigas, which was started in 1995. This Mendoza, Argentina Malbec is sourced from vineyards above 900 meters (3000 feet) in the appellation of Valle de Uco. The grapes are hand harvested from gravelly alluvial soils with a combination of clay and limestone where water drainage is active. 50% of the wine is aged in cement piletas, 25% in stainless steel vats, and 25% in large untoasted oak foudres. This is subtle, food friendly Malbec…not the power-house version. Pair with chili con carne, fajitas, smoked eel, and cassoulet.
Label I.Q.: Altos Las Hormigas was named for the ant colonies in the region that cover enormous ground and accomplish great tasks despite their miniscule size, like feeding on young grape vines!