Growing Conditions

- La Pirámide Vineyard: 3,117 ft (950 m). Agrelo District, Luján de Cuyo Region, Mendoza, Argentina. Deep alluvial loam with 30% clay that decreases soil temperature by 35,6ºF (2ºC) in average. Cabernet Sauvignon. - Domingo Vineyard: 3,675 ft (1,120 m). Villa Bastías District, Tupungato Region, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina. Surface is completely covered with gravel. Alluvial topsoil is loamy with limestone deposits at 11,8 inches (30cm). Cabernet Sauvignon. - Nicasia Vineyard: 3,593 ft (1,095 m). Altamira en La Consulta District, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina. Very shallow loamy topsoil with surface gravel and gravelly (large stones) dry river bed subsoil - optimal drainage. Malbec. - Adrianna Vineyard: 4,757 ft (1,450 m). Gualtallary District, Tupungato Region, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina. Alluvial, gravelly with limestone deposits in the topsoil. Malbec. Argentine wine producers are rejoicing. The expressions on the faces of vineyard managers and winemakers are unmistakable. Mother Nature has chosen to smile once again on the unique high altitude wine country of Mendoza, making the 2002 harvest perhaps the best in the last 10 years. The climatic conditions in the ever so important ripening months of January through April could not have been better. The dry, warm, and sunny weather has been constant, with only a brief interruption in the middle of February in the form of isolated thunderstorms. Fortunately, this small precipitation dried quickly and had no effect on grape quality. The white grapes were the first to arrive, having been given the opportunity to achieve maximum ripeness. The fruit was full of intense aromatics, rich varietal fruit flavors and well balanced acidity. The reds soon followed with the likes of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Bonarda leading the way. All the grapes were at their optimum ripeness, with deep rich color, heady aromatics and concentrated flavors. Malbec, the star grape of Argentina, was indeed the star of the 2002 vintage. With ideal ripening conditions the Malbec fruit was able to enjoy extended hang time, ensuring maximum ripeness of all elements of color, aroma and flavor. The small, concentrated Malbec berries were full of ripe black stone fruit flavors and soft, sweet tannins. The Malbec harvest began on March 15, about one week early this year. Cooler than usual nights in January and February allowed the vines to enjoy uninterrupted ripening for the rest of the growing season. Due to large differences in the altitudes of our vineyards, the Malbec harvest lasted until April 10, with the highest altitude, coolest climate fruit being harvested last. The fermenting juice shows a deep violet, almost blackish color, intense aromas, and rich concentrated flavors. The Cabernet fruit has also been harvested in excellent conditions. Light rains in the first week of April pushed back the harvest for a couple days in the highest altitude vineyards. However, the sun came out to shine again, and all the Cabernet fruit shows great promise. Rich cassis and black currant fruit flavors are evident with wonderful tannic structure. We are very confident that the 2002 vintage will allow us to make our best wines yet and to continue our effort to show the world the incredible quality potential of Argentina.

Bottling

Unfined and unfiltered.

Winemaking

De-stemmed, whole berry fruit is hand-loaded into 225-500 liter new French oak foudres for a 100% barrel fermentation for a period of 18 days, allowing seamless oak integration. The fermentation temperature is kept low, extracting intense aromas, and the cap management is done by hand to ensure soft, gentle flavors and tannin extraction. Wild yeasts. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrel leaves considerable lees and sediment.

Aging

The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. 210 separate row microvinifications from different lots and harvest times.