Familia Zuccardi Tito Zuccardi Valle de Uco 2014  £26.95


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FAMILIA ZUCCARDI TITO ZUCCARDI VALLE DE UCO

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.

At Zuccardi it is clearly understood that quality starts in the vineyards. Through extensive research and the use of technology such as electromagnetic mapping of soil, they are reaching ever greater understandings of the "terroir" and how to match soils with the most appropriate grape variety. With extensive vineyard holdings in Maipu, Santa Rosa and increasingly at high altitude sites in the Uco Valley, the quality at Zuccardi is ever improving as these wines find their place. Every aspect of viticulture at Zuccardi, from irrigation techniques, trellising and training, pruning and harvesting is constantly reviewed and improved upon whilst always remains true to their principles of sustainability.

Double selection is carried out, once before and then after destemming. Fermentation was carried out in concrete vats (without epoxy) which are filled by gravity, with indigenous yeast, manual pigeage and delestage. Maceration takes around 20 to 30 days. Malolactic fermentation then took place in concrete and barrels. Different lots were aged in French oak barrels (first, second and third use) for 12 months before blending.

Named after Sebastián Zuccardi's Grandfather, a great visionary who planted the first vineyards of the family, this wine from La Consulta is a classic grape blend with more unusual varieties that the family has been pioneering in Mendoza for many years. Violet colour with deep blue hues. Black and red fruit aromas such as blackberry, plum, strawberry, cherry with delicate notes of herbs, ginger and black pepper. Silky entry with gentle and juicy tannins, perceiving an aromatic complexity. It presents a long and deep finish. A big wine needs big foods such as game or beef.


 91

 Luis Gutiérrez

 The Wine Advocate

"The 2014 Tito Zuccardi is now produced exclusively with grapes from the Paraje Altamira appellation, a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ancellotta and Caladoc from the Zuccardi estate vineyards. Most of the grapes are fermented together and the composition might change with the vintage, but the concept is that it will always be from Altamira, from the estate vineyards. It has very intense color and it also reflects the riper conditions of 2014, with more black fruit and also a rustic touch reminiscent of tree bark. The palate is round and juicy, with some dusty tannins. This is slimmer and with less oak than previous versions of Tito. It was bottled in September 2015. 20,000 bottles produced."

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