Wine of the Month - September 2017
2015 Altos La Hormigas “Colonia Las Liebres” Bonarda, Mendoza, Argentina
This month’s pick is proof positive that there is more to Mendoza than Malbec. There is nothing really wrong with the “red that took over America”, but there are other wines to explore and learn about from this stunning high-altitude wine region.
This Italian-owned producer has been working for over 10 years with these Bonarda vines, located in a unique microclimate that sits higher than other surrounding vines. Cooler nights up here result in good acid development and retention. Native yeasts are used to ferment and the wine only sees stainless steel at this stage, then is aged in concrete tanks to preserve freshness. Nothing unusual about that, but the quality and purity of the fruit shines through here. This is a charming, approachable red that shows juicy ripe red fruit (raspberry, pomegranate & red cherry) on the nose. The tannins are soft and ripe and there is ample framing acidity to keeps things on the refreshing side.
Given its origin, this is an ideal red for meats (grilled skirt steak tacos come to mind), charcuterie and pungent cheeses. As yet, we haven’t mentioned the absurdly low price of this wine. This is a remarkable value. It should be your house wine for quite some time.