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2018 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Reserve (750ml)
Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
B-21 Top Recommendation
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Ironically the great terrains of the vine are adverse to grape production. That swaths of Chateauneuf du Pape are planted in a bed of old river (Rhone River) stone flouts the mind. Much of Spain's Priorat vines are planted on vertiginously steep, ancient terraced slopes of decomposed slate. A winery guide on the touristic island of Santorini would point out vines planted in granite rock with its vine trellised in cirlces around the grape cluster to protect the fruit from the wind. Maybe the most remarkable, extreme vines exist on Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Indeed extreme is the standard here. The world's most challenging Ironman race takes place on Lanzarote each May. Volcanic activity have challenged the vignerons here, meters of volcanic ash sitting atop the island force them to burrow down to the "top soil" where the vine is planted. The landscape looks black-lunar, worthy of your Google Earth.

In Argentina at elevations of five thousand feet is the deserted region of Tupungato. Here in the foothills of the Andes defines the elevation limits of vines as Mt. Tupungato volcano soars in the vista to 22,000 feet. At the north end of the Uco Valley lies Tupungato. Within the region of Tupungato is coveted Gualtallary where some argue the best wines of Argentina call home. Clearly the altitude and exposition play a key role here as does the diurnal temperature swings of twenty degrees or more in a cool climate. What makes Gualtallary truly unique is the soils. Poor soils – adverse to grape production. Limestone stressed vine in vigor and yields, in effect a more concentrated wine. Alluvial soils of sand and stone force the vine to seek more nutrients. Wines of Gualtallary and Altamira have great concentration, but also freshness coming from limestone acidity and elevation.


94WA 92V

The limestone starts in the Reserva/Reserve range, of which I tasted the 2018 Malbec Reserve, which is produced from vineyards on limestone soils in Altamira and Gualtallary. This is incredibly elegant, floral and expressive, with superb minerality on the palate. It has fine-grained tannins and is silky, tasty, long and expressive. Superb! This wine is all about texture, and it's the best reserve I ever remember.

94+ points, Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Issue # 245 - Oct 2019)

In its current era, ALH is focused on producing styles that reflect the terroir in new ways. A blend of grapes from Gualtallary and Paraje Altamira, the Reserve was aged in foudres for 18 months. Bright, purplish red. The fruit on the nose is hidden behind aromas of violet and herbs plus a hint of cherry. The vertical palate revolves around freshness and chalky tannins. This is a reductive, skinny red, all bone and tension. For drinkers who follow the latest trends.

92 points, Joaquín Hidalgo, Vinous (Oct 2020)

$25.99

60+ bottles in stock and ready to ship.
1
2017 Clos Apalta (750ml)
Carmenere from Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley, Chile
6
B-21 Top Recommendation
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"It is an emotional celebration. 20 years already. 20 years of incredible adventure. 20 years of dedication and tenacity. And in honour of this important milestone, the 2017 vintage release is a special commemorative edition delicately screen-printed in gold, set against a graduated blue adorning the entire bottle. This is an entirely new coating technique and an industry first.

20 stars featuring on the bottle not only symbolise the passage of time, but also the Milky Way, which can be observed all the way from Clos Apalta, in arguably one of the clearest skies in the world. The intricate detail continues with the two-tone, royal blue and navy blue capsule, recalling the Azulillo flower, a small blue crocus emblematic of the Valley, its long frail stem topped with a mass of blue stars, each bearing three dark blue stripes. In the same way, the gift box is lined with blue tissue paper of the same distinctive shade. The iconic winery, equipped with technical facilities of the greatest precision and an architectural masterpiece, naturally takes pride of place, its 24 wooden beams clearly visible, reaching elliptically towards the sky and symbolising 24 months of winemaking channelled into the creation of Clos Apalta.

20 years of labour of love, undertaken by a family unified through the past and their boundless belief in the future. And it is also a time of reflection and renewed commitment. The history of Clos Apalta is still being written. For in this industry, the short and the longterm merge into one. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my parents, Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and Cyril de Bournet, and express my gratitude and also my steadfast commitment to continue the work they commenced by elevating Clos Apalta to even greater heights. With its sturdy foundations, Clos Apalta is a living legacy, which is constantly evolving, resolutely focused on the future.

For two decades, our teams in Chile and France have worked in unison to understand the exact requirements and potential challenges regarding Clos Apalta. The progress we have made in both the vineyard and winery has only served to improve our performance over the years. 20 years of tireless hard work has been rewarded with premium quality wines. Concentrated, complex and age-worthy, Clos Apalta has garnered a world class reputation and indisputably earned its place among the true greats.

Today, Clos Apalta is an icon among Chilean wines, and living proof of the huge popularity and enthusiastic comments in the wine press. This meteoric progress affirms the ascent of Chilean wines to rank among the greatest wines of worldwide renown. But this is no time for complacency: exceptional vineyards constantly reinvent always fixated on the same goal of excellence.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for making this adventure possible."

Charles-Henri de Bournet


100JS

What a stunning nose of crushed berries, fresh flowers, sandalwood and light vineyard dust. Black olives, too. Very complex. Full-bodied with a beautiful, dense palate of blackberries, chocolate, walnuts and cigar box. Fantastic length and composure. The tannin just rolls over the palate. Very structured. The most classically structured wine ever from here. Goes on for minutes. Outrageous and so polished. A blend of 48% carmenere, 26% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot and 1% petit verdot. Try after 2025.

100 points, James Suckling (Apr 2020)

$119.99

60+ bottles in stock and ready to ship.
1
This item is available in original wood case. Would you like to include the wood case in your order? There is an additional $12.00 shipping fee for wood cases.
2018 Vina Sena Sena (375ml)
Cabernet Sauvignon from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
12
B-21 Top Recommendation
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Eduardo Chadwick is one of the most important people of the vine in Chile – the world for that matter – facing multiple obstacles throughout his impressive career. For nearly a decade Eduardo worked to rebuild the iconic Viña Errázuriz, restoring his family's 19th century estate to its former glory. As Eduardo was gaining ground, California's most famous man of the vine paid the country a visit in 1990. Robert Mondavi fell in love with Chile and would soon be introduced to his counterpart in the region. By 1995, the two had reached a pioneering agreement – Seña was born. For four long, grueling years the two passionate visionaries toiled over vineyard sites in search of the perfect terroir for their dream wine. This was to be Chile's icon above all others. Site was paramount.

Located in the Valle de Aconcagua, on a 42 hectare colluvial vineyard of well drained gravel, rock and loam, the Seña vineyard is planted to the perfect mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Syrah. The slightly cooler temperatures of this elevated, sloping site allow for long, slow ripening. The Seña vineyard is often harvested two weeks after its nearest neighbor. Precious few wines in the country will compete; perhaps none – after all, perfection is incredibly rare.

This is a wine above all others ever bottled in Chile. A wine which is rightly described by Neal Martin as "The peripatetic wine that goes around the world challenging and, let it be said, often defeating First Growths in blind tastings."


100JS 98WA

This is a very thoughtful Seña that shows unique aromas of warm earth, mushrooms and conifer, turning to dark berries and black olives. The palate is more glamorous with ultra-fine tannins that envelop your palate. Shows power and vibrancy at the end. Toned muscles. It’s a very intellectual wine that harkens back to the 2015. Blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 18% malbec, 15% carmenere, 7% cabernet franc and 5% merlot. Beautiful to try now, but better after 2023.

100 points, James Suckling (Sep 2020)

The 2018 Seña shows the fresher side of the Ocoa zone of the Aconcagua Valley through a Bordeaux blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 15% Carmenere, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot; there are small differences, but nothing substantial. As I've seen in other wines from the very complete 2018 vintage, the grapes ripened thoroughly and achieved more flavors and nuances, and the wines are slightly higher in alcohol (14% this year versus 13.3% in 2017, but in reality it's 13.8% ). But the wine seems to have more of everything. The grapes fermented in a combination of stainless steel and concrete vats and matured in new barriques and Stockinger foudres for 22 months, a similar formula as the one used for Viñedo Chadwick. This is a very elegant vintage of Seña, a year with a slow ripening so that the grapes achieved very good ripeness and full development of aromas and flavors, making the wine nuanced and complex, with depth but also freshness and finesse—floral and expressive. The tannins are very fine, polished and elegant, and the wine is long and complex, mixing the best f 2015 and 2016, coming through as a very complete year. It's still a little young and should develop nicely in bottle; it's approachable now, but if you can hold it a little bit more, it should be even better. This has to be the finest vintage of Seña to date. Comparing it with the Chadwick from the same year, there is more freshness and a little more complexity and clout coming form the cooler zone and the palette of varieties used that give more options to achieve more nuance. 100,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February and March 2020.

98 points, Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Issue # 250 - Aug 2020)

$69.99

15 bottles in stock and ready to ship.
1
This item is available in original wood case. Would you like to include the wood case in your order? There is an additional $12.00 shipping fee for wood cases.
This item is a 375ml half bottle. Did you intend to order a half bottle?