Afincado Las Compuertas 2009
(Terrazas de los Andes)
Terraza de los Andes was founded in 1999 by Moët Hennessy Wine Estates and Bodegas Chandon Argentina, after several decades of sparkling wine production trials. Located in Luján de Cuyo (Mendoza), the winery specializes in high altitude vineyards and the crafting of premium wines.
The founders decided that, if they were to make the best possible wine, they should use the 90-year-old Malbec vines growing at 1,067 metres above sea level, in an area known as Las Compuertas. This is a parcel of acidic rocky soil famous for its dense Malbecs and the nice natural acidity of its wines. The vineyard altitude, along with the nutrition provided by the ice melt from the Andes, result in crunchier, crisper grapes. In addition, the variation in day and night time temperatures encourages the accumulation of certain aroma and flavour components, especially polyphenols responsible for a wine’s colour, body and structure.
The freshness of its vineyards provides the wines, like this Afincado (single estate), with the aromatic and textural depth they need to undergo 18 months’ ageing in new barrels and ensure that this does not mask the fruit or overpower the wine.
This is a wine with a good structure and an elegant bouquet that includes aromas of black cherries and blackberries nuanced with creamy notes of toasted oak against a liquorice and menthol backdrop. Although it is still relatively young, this concentrated and dense wine is surprisingly well balanced and accessible. We think we can safely say that this is one of Argentina’s best wines.