Fermented Grape

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Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2012, Mendoza, Argentina

Drunk in São Paulo November 2015

The winery

In 1992, Chandon Argentina, founded by Moët &Chandon in 1960, started the Terrazas de los Andes project and in 1999, Terrazas de los Andes was founded right at Mendoza’s heart in an old and restored Spanish-style winery that had belonged from 1898 to Sotero Arizu, one of the forefathers of wine making in Argentina. 

Terrazas de los Andes is considered as one of the best producers of Argentina, and thus received the honour of being chosen by Château Cheval Blanc (Premier Grand Cru Classè A based in Saint-Emilion) for its first joint-venture in order to create the iconic Cheval des Andes.

The property has very deep soil, down to nearly 1.8 metres in places, though part of the property is close to a hilly area where the soil is shallower and somewhat rocky. Ungrafted Malbec vines planted in 1929 have an abundant source of clean, run-off water from the river and a longer ripening season thanks to the region’s cooler temperatures. 

The wine is produced from Malbec grapes from Finca Las Compuertas (Las Compuertas, Luján de Cuyo) and Finca El Pedregal (Altamira, La Consulta, Uco Valley); Mendoza - Argentina. Average altitude: 1080 metres above sea level (3545 ft). 

EL PEDREGAL

This property is located in Altamira, an area with highly stony soil which gives the vineyard its name (piedra means stone in Spanish). Some of the boulders were so large when the property was acquired, they had to be buried because they couldn’t be moved.

The soil is highly permeable which is ideal to nourish the Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec varieties grown here. Making use of high trellises and a cordon training system, the land is ideal, especially for Malbec, which expresses an intense, fruity colour with noticeable tannin.

LAS COMPUERTAS

The La Compuertas vineyard is located very close to the northern end of the Mendoza river. The property has very deep soil, down to nearly 1.8 metres in places, though part of the property is close to a hilly area where the soil is shallower and somewhat rocky.

Ungrafted Malbec vines planted in 1929 have plenty of clean, run-off water from the river and a longer ripening season thanks to the region’s cooler temperatures. Over the years, this vineyard has used a Guyot system with narrow rows and low trellises, irrigation provided by furrows running down the slope, a method used by the immigrants who started the industry in the province. This irrigation method brings silt and clay that retain moisture so less irrigation is used.

The wine

100% Malbec. Alcohol: 14.00 % Sugar: 1.8 g/l Total acidity: 5.15 g/l pH: 3.78

1. Hand-harvesting during the month of April. 2. Cluster destemming and slight berry splitting. 3. Fermentation and maceration for an average of 21 days, alternating pumping over and delestage. Devatting. 4. Aging for 12 – 14 months in 1/3 new - and the remaining in second and third use - French oak barrels. 5. Clarification. Filtration Bottling. 6. Bottle Aging: 6 months minimum.

2012 Vintage

The 2012 vintage had a very cold winter followed by extremely high temperatures from late spring to early summer; this lead to an accelerated increase of sugar rate and a decrease of grape weight. Then, temperatures dramatically decreased therefore slowing down the ripening cycle on the vine; as a result 2012 wines are very fruity and aromatic, with an acidity found typically when the end of the summer growing season is cooler.

Fermented Grape tasting notes

This was deep purple/red in the glass. Strong aromas and palate of cherry and chocolate. Fine tannins and smooth in the mouth and on the finish. Nice acidity. Very enjoyable for the price.