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. In most regions there was about 25% more rain than usual (5 to 50mm more) in the late spring/early summer and these rains had a natural cooling effect in the months of November and December. Towards the end of December it stopped raining in most regions. Veraison started a bit earlier than usual, and the canopy was well developed early in the harvest season because of the rains. It stopped raining just at the right time for red varietals and very high altitude chardonnay to experience the necessary amount of stress. We did a great deal of Scholander pump water measurements this year because in the dry conditions of Jan-May it was essential to stress the plants judiciously. Most lots were harvested between 7 and 10 days prior to the usual date. Because of the ideal weather conditions of February, March, April and May, we were able to harvest all our vineyards at 4 different times, a method that we find helpful as a way to intensify each aspect of the vineyard's terroir: aromatics (early harvest), fine tannins and mid palate (mid harvest), concentration of tannins-polymerization (late harvest.) LA PIRÁMIDE VINEYARD - Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, 3117 ft elevation It was nice to avoid the hail here this year (after 2 years in a row.) The old vine Cabernet Sauvignon from the Mendoza massal selection population was extraordinary, very balanced with intense black fruit aromas and very smooth mouthfeel. The clonal and population Malbecs (what we call the Catena cuttings) were perfectly ripe and tasty, a good year overall for this vineyard. DOMINGO VINEYARD - Villa Bastías, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 3675 ft elevation Promising for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (Dijon Clones). Laura will use some of this Pinot Noir for the Luca Pinot. ADRIANNA VINEYARD - Gualtallary, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 4757 ft elevation This vineyard saw a somewhat different weather pattern than the rest of the Uco Valley because it rained more here in February. It stopped raining towards the end of February, and after that it was clear and sunny. The canopies were big so there was lots of photosynthesis going on. We harvested most of the Malbec towards the end of April when it had been completely dry for 2 months. The Malbec has the typical floral notes that we get from this vineyard with perfect balance between sugars, acidity and tannins. We expect the wines to be intensely concentrated and velvety at the same time. NICASIA VINEYARD - Altamira, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 3593 ft elevation This vineyard was harvested a few weeks earlier than usual; we harvested most of it in March. Perfect natural acidity - no correction needed - intense black fruit; very, very dark and concentrated with no hard edges on the tannins, ultra rich, ultra silky. Alejandro Vigil was also very surprised and excited by the quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon in this vineyard, he says, "This was a great year for this variety that has such great potential in this region." There were no vegetal notes in the Cabernet Sauvignon that was deeply colored, rich in tannins and of perfect ripeness with no over-ripe features (Alejandro particularly dislikes over-ripeness in cabernet sauvignon.)

Bottling

Unfined and unfiltered.

Winemaking

10% whole cluster and 90% whole berry fruit is hand-loaded into 225-500 liter first and second use 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.