2011 Achaval-Ferrer Malbec

Year: 2011
Appellation: Mendoza
Country: Argentina
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 89
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$17.95
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"Very pure, with a beam of raspberry coulis, blackberry and cherry pulp notes that pump out layers of spice, flint and wildflowers. Juicy yet structured, with a mineral edge to the long, savory finish. Drink now through 2015. 13,000 cases imported." (WS)

"The 2011 Malbec is sourced from Perdriel, Uco and Medrano from vines located at around 900m altitude. The wine is fermented in cement tanks and raised in third use French barrel for 11 months. The nose demands a little coaxing from the glass, but eventually reveals a crisp, pointed nose of black fruit laced with bell pepper that is well-defined, awakening with each swirl of the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a taut, crisp entry. The tannins are bold and ripe, although it needs a little more weight of fruit towards the back end, a little more “girth.” Still, this is a well-crafted, accomplished, entry-level Malbec – a perfect introduction to the genre. Drink now-2017.

Achaval Ferrer should need no introduction to anyone with a passing interest in Argentinean wine, a paradigm of how far the country has progressed over the last decade. In 2011, founders Santiago Achaval and Manuel Ferrer sold a large percentage of shares to the SPI group that owns Stolichnaya vodka as well as shares in Tenuto d’Ornellaia and Frescobaldi, although both Ferrer and Achaval remain on the managing board. Instead of visiting the winery (which I intend to do in the future), I tasted wines past and present with Santiago in London, where I was afforded more time to plot the wine’s development in the glass. The tasting was no revelation, since I have encountered and appreciated the wines for many years. They are well-crafted, very pure and stylistically equidistant between Old World and New. My reviews will seem meaner and the scores more parsimonious than might be anticipated. It simply reflects where I see the wines in the context of such a comprehensive overview of a dynamic country – great wines for sure and very consistent, but perhaps others have stepped up their game? The older vintages have certainly held up well, although a demanding connoisseur would expect more in the way of secondary aromas and flavors to replace the lost primary ones." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Achaval Ferrer is located in the foothills of the Andes in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. The region’s desert climate and soil conditions are ideal for the development of Malbec and other red varieties. Low yields, significant thermal gradients (warm days, cool nights), poor alluvial soils, low rainfall, high altitude and the pure Andes irrigation water, all work together to mature grapes that can be transformed into complex, deep and structured wines made by famed winemaker, Roberto Cipresso.

Characteristics:
Intense, pure, full colours and young aromas. This wine completes our vision of Malbec. We wish to honour the insignia variety of Mendoza. We want to emphasize all the characteristics of this unique cepage. Our work in the vineyards reinforces leaf system over root system, and emphasizes the soul of the fruit. Our objective is to preserve the vertebral column of variety as the first step of a trilogy that continues in ascending stairs with Quimera – a design wine - and Finca Altamira, Finca Bella Vista and Finca Mirador, through which we showcase the expression of terroir. The wine was aged during 9 months in French Oak barrels. We took special care to preserve the necessary balance between wood and fruit without losing its spontaneity.


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