Familia Zuccardi Aluvional La Consulta Valle de Uco 2013  £58.49

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Sebastian Zuccardi, grandson of the founder, is now in charge at this trailblazing family winery. Rapidly establishing himself as one of the great winemaking talents of Argentina, he is determined to alter the world's perception of Malbec and evolve our understanding of what Mendoza has to offer. He talks of "not seeking perfect wines, but those that express the place, the region". His vision is not altitude, it is terroir: terroir honed and shaped by the icy Andes flood waters whose power brought the rocks and boulders that now form the sub-soils of many of the very best vineyards. Frequently pictured waist deep in a muddy hole in one of these vineyards, these rocks not only form part of the vineyard but in their new winery, they form the building and the fermentation vessels. At the forefront of the movement towards greater fruit purity, Sebastian's wines are the most convincing argument for the use of concrete fermentation and ageing vessels and, as a result, for the movement towards a greater understanding of the potential of Malbec and of Argentina in general. Though we may be a little biased, it is fair to say that Sebastian is amongst the most influential young winemakers on the planet.

Grown in the La Consulta area of San Carlos in Mendoza at an altitude of 990 metres on alluvial soils that are sandy clay in texture with a rock bed at 0.8 metres in depth. The vineyards are carefully tended and yields strictly controlled by debudding and green pruning. These vines were planted in 1974 and are irrigated using the traditional furrow system.

Double sorting table: first selection of bunches, second selection of grapes after destemming. Soft crushing of berries. Concrete vats filled by gravity using small containers of 500 kg. Fermentation with selected indigenous yeast. 26 days skin maceration with daily delestage and pigeage processes. Aged in medium toasted French barrels for 24 months. Malolactic fermentation completed in barrels. Final blend made after tasting and selecting the best barrels, and before bottling. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Deep red violet colour. Great aromatic intensity. It expresses a complex fruit character with notes of black berries, prune and ripe cherry complemented by fresh herbal and floral notes such as menthol, violet and rose. Hints of spices: tobacco, clove, black pepper and vanilla show a very elegant oak profile. Decanting will enhance its aromatic expression. On the palate, it has a sweeping entrance: juicy, with a lively acidity in perfect balance with the sweet and ripe tannins. It is a very elegant, smooth and complex wine, with great structure and a very long finish.

Malbec is just made for meat and this wine would be a great choice with any cut of beef.


 Luis Gutiérrez

 The Wine Advocate

"The 2013 Aluvional La Consulta was harvested earlier in this vintage. Zuccardi has made a few changes to fine tune the wines from the heart of La Consulta - a zone where the ripening can change very quickly as its a lower and warmer zone than Altamira, for example. It comes from a vineyard planted in 1978 in a place called Viña Chacón, a parcel in the south of the Uco Valley in the San Carlos department where the grape bunches are shaded by a pruning method that works well in warmer places. This has a perfume of violets, aromatic herbs and the blue fruit (if I had to single out one fruit here it would be blueberry) that I'm finding in so many of Zuccardi's wines. They used 30% whole clusters (which they believe provides freshness). Despite being ripe, powerful and concentrated, it's much more elegant and refined than the powerful wines most people associate with La Consulta. 2,500 bottles."

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